News

Brazen thieves target flood victims five times in a week

Kaye Milfull with her Mary Valley pineapple stall on Dagun Pocket Rd.
Kaye Milfull with her Mary Valley pineapple stall on Dagun Pocket Rd. Craig Warhurst

THEY breed them tough in the country but there is only so much a bloke can take.

Chris Doyle, the last pineapple farmer still standing in the Mary Valley - the same farmer who watched 50,000 of his pineapples rot during the Australia Day weekend flood - has been hit by thieves five times in the past week; twice in 12 hours.

The thieves, or thief, used a battery-operated angle grinder to cut the padlock on the iron honesty box Mr Doyle and his partner Kaye Milfull leave on their timber stall on the side of Dagun Pocket Rd, where they sell Mr Doyle's pineapples for 50 cents or $1 each.

It's not big business.

Mr Doyle has been a farmer for 40 years and has run his humble stall for the past 15 years but he's decided it is no longer worth it.

"It's just a $1 donation," he said yesterday. "We only have 25 pineapples in there at any one time. We used to put 50 in there."

Before Mr Doyle became the repeated target of the brazen thief, the traditional country system, which relies on the honesty of the buyer, had worked well.

At this time of year - when the Muster is on - the honesty box has been known to make $100 a day. It once made $300 in a day.

But it seems those days of relying on country decency and honesty are over.

"I think we are just going to shut it down," Mr Doyle said. "I can't see much point in going ahead with it."

But Ms Milfull had other ideas.

"I am not going to let them beat me," she said.

She now walks out to the box three times a day, emptying the honesty box at midday and again at 4.30pm. Then at 6pm, she goes out and brings in all the unsold pineapples.

"It's very time consuming. I just don't understand why they do it. There is never a lot of money there. Maybe $10 or $20," she said.

The low act is the antithesis of the inspiring human spirit shown by Mr Doyle, after a raging Amamoor Creek ripped through his property in January.

His indomitable spirit in the face of, and following, the devastation earned him the inaugural Resilience Award at this year's Ekka. Despite losing his crop, Mr Doyle was determined to take his best pineapples to the show and featured in the ribbons.

Anyone who has seen suspicious behaviour near the stall on Dagun Pocket Rd is asked to phone Gympie police on 5480 1000 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

Gympie Times

Topics:  flood victims, honesty boxes, theft




Gympie Destineers meeting on Thursday

Need help with a business problem? The Gympie Destineers could help

Cupcake store sets dinosaur loose on town

(From left) Katelyn Leis, Tryfen Kil, Bek Clouston, Rex the Dinosaur, Leigh Clouston, Tamika MacGregor and Sharon Brown.

Customers to Hevane Leigh Cupcakes got a surprise this morning

Saving grace for Sue

Sue Kirkpatrick-Laird, owner and operator of Move With Grace Yoga, said Yoga has transformed her life for the better.

After a mountain-biking accident, you'll never guess what Sue did

Latest deals and offers

Drowning Pool gig review at Max Watt's

Drowning Pool played Brisbane with A Breach of Silence and She Cries Wolf at the Max Watt's House of Music.

Drowning Pool prove that 'bodies' hit the floor when they play

#SaveMarinaJoyce: How ISIS theory took over youtube channel

One young Youtuber accidentally gave rise to a conspiracy theory

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Is Gympie having a building boom?

There is plenty of building activity happening around the Gympie region.

New home approvals for Gympie region double

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley