For a number of years, apple farmers have put out apple juice, juice and fruit in stalls along roads in Hardanger without any problems, but now a gang has started stealing, the police believe.
People who supply themselves in the stalls are invited to leave money in a box or tilt, writes Bergens Tidende.
Apple farmer Kjetil Lerfall at Alsåker in Hardanger is among those who trust people and reckon that they pay for the self-produced apple cheese. Until last weekend, things have gone well, but then the safe with today’s turnover was stolen.
– Most people pay with Vipps, and there are mostly only a few hundred kroner and change in the box. It’s the breach of trust that worries me. It damages Hardanger’s reputation, says Lerfall who thinks the situation is sad.
The stalls are an important brand for Hardanger, he believes, where cherries, plums, jams and juices are often also sold.
The police believe that some have systematically taken action against small producers around Alsåker, Utne and inwards the Sørfjord. In some places only the money had disappeared, while in other places both money and goods were gone.
– We think the case is serious precisely because this is a scheme based on trust between farmer and customer. We want to maintain this relationship of trust, and therefore seek tips in the case, says police superintendent Øystein Torsnes at Hardanger sheriff’s office.
He says it takes three to four years between each time the police receive a report of theft from the self-service stalls.