Thieves target Wahiawa family egg farm before Easter - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Thieves target Wahiawa family egg farm before Easter

Green Ford 350 (license plate number 020 TVD) Green Ford 350 (license plate number 020 TVD)
black trailer (license 215 WES) with chicken cages strapped to the back of the trailer black trailer (license 215 WES) with chicken cages strapped to the back of the trailer
Christopher Peterson Christopher Peterson
Sharon Peterson Cheape Sharon Peterson Cheape
WAHIAWA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Less than three weeks before Easter, an Oahu egg farm is ripped off by thieves.

The Wahiawa family that has run the business for the past 105 years is now worried the loss will put them out of business.

Christopher Peterson is a fourth generation farmer and the Assistant Business Manger at Petersons' Upland Farm.

When he showed up to work Monday morning, he found the gate to their farm open and the chain cut.  He said their green Ford 350 and black trailer holding their chicken cages were missing.

"We are an old farm and we're struggling to make it through.  Ag has been kinda struggling in the state, we've been struggling, so this just adds kind of another huge weight to us," said Christopher.

The equipment is used to transport birds from one farm to another when it is time for them to lay eggs.  He said the cages were custom made and hand welded to fit perfectly in their chicken house.

The family says it's about a $30,000 loss.  But it's not just the farm that is losing out, customers are too.

"It kills me especially when people drive so far and spend their time and their gas just to come here and we're like, ‘Sorry. We're sold out,'" said Sharon Peterson Cheape, the farm manager.

About 200 customers a day make the trip to Petersons' Upland Farm to get fresh eggs.

Sharon's grandfather and Christopher's great-grandfather founded it 1910. 

Back in the late 90's, they had about 165,000 birds.  Now they said they have about 7,500 birds.  They say the stolen equipment would have brought in an extra 2,500 birds.

"The farm itself hasn't really been making money over the past few years. We've had to raise prices, wholesale, retail.  We're struggling to make it. So it was a significant investment for us, and to lose it, I don't know if we'll be able to make another one," Christopher.

"It means a lot to us to continue.  So…if they could just bring it back," Sharon said.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.



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