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Thieves pluck family heirlooms, equipment from Schnepf Farms

(Facebook Photo/Schnepf Farms)

PHOENIX – Schnepf Farms is offering a $1,000 reward after thieves plucked equipment and family heirlooms from the popular southeast Valley agri-tourism destination over the weekend.

The Queen Creek venue reported Sunday morning that a John Deere Gator all-terrain vehicle with a trailer and a variety of other items were stolen, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said.

The Gator was recovered after being found a few hundred yards away from the farm at Rittenhouse and Riggs roads, but other items remained missing.

The MCSO said there were no know suspects and the investigation was ongoing.

In a Facebook post offering the reward for information leading to an arrest, Schnepf Farms said the stolen items, including the Gator, were worth nearly $20,000.

The MCSO said the property taken from the Schnepfs and other families who live on the farm included family heirloom cowboy hats, power tools and welding equipment.

The Facebook post said a Stetson hat that belonged to the grandfather of farm owner Mark Schnepf was recovered on the side of Riggs Road west of the venue.

Schnepf Farms is a working farm known for its pick-your-own-produce gardens and orchards. It also hosts weddings and other events.

In January, the facility announced that it was canceling its annual Peach Festival, reportedly because the crowds had grown too large. It will still be open for customers to pick their own peaches when they are in season.

According to its website, Schnepf Farms is considered Arizona’s largest organic peach grower and welcomes more than 250,000 visitors a year.

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