FORT VALLEY, Ga. (AP) -- Law officers in Peach County say they're cracking down on pecan thieves, which have been on the rise now that harvesting is in full swing.

Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese tells The Macon Telegraph ( that most of the suspects are gathering large amounts of pecans to sell.

The sheriff says 10 to 15 people have been arrested this season for stealing pecans. All were charged with trespassing, a misdemeanor. Deese says that people arrested a second time will be charged with crop stealing, a felony.

Pecan prices have climbed in recent months.

Pecan farmer Chop Evans said the wholesale price of pecans this year is about $2.50 per pound, up about 30 cents from a year ago.

Peach County is about 100 miles south of Atlanta.


Information from: The Macon Telegraph,

Copyright 2011 The AP.

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