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More Than 7,000 Onions Are Stolen

July 31, 2003

CRYSTAL, N.D. (AP) _ It’s enough to make Lorraine Martinson weep.

More than 7,000 onions were picked from her field and pocketed by thieves, Pembina County Sheriff Wayne Samdahl said.

Seven rows of onions, worth about $4,000, were taken from the field where Martinson grows a variety of vegetables.

``It would be at least a good-sized pickup load,″ Samdahl said.

The theft apparently happened over the weekend. Martinson discovered it Monday, when she was picking peas.

``I looked down and there’s no onions,″ she said. ``I was like, ’Where’s my onions?‴

Authorities took pictures of footprints and tire prints.

Samdahl said the thieves must have spent considerable time in the field, which has about 1,000 onions for each of the seven rows. He believes more than one person was involved.

``They didn’t do it in a couple of minutes,″ he said. ``They had to pull each one by hand.″

Martinson says onions are her major source of income in the summer.

``This is what I make my pickup payment and taxes with,″ she said.

Martinson is offering a $500 award for tips that lead to an arrest in the case.

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