By Michael Rosenfield, WBZ-TV

LONDONDERRY, NH (CBS) – It might be the juiciest crime of the season.

People swiping apples from local orchards.

READ MORE: Doctors: Plenty Of Time To Get COVID Booster Shot Before Holidays

“They could be putting apples in their purses, they could be putting apples in their strollers,” said Dan Hicks, owner of Sunnycrest Farms in Londonderry, New Hampshire. “We do see it and we do prosecute.”

Hicks says it happens every year.

“People thinking that we grow so many apples so why would you miss a couple of bushels,” said Hicks. “We try to convince them that it is stealing.”

Across town at Mack’s Apples it’s a similar story.

“This is how we make our living,” said Mike Cross, the farm manager. “People are taking them and not paying for them. We’re losing.”

READ MORE: Skier Triggers Avalanche On Mount Washington

Sometimes people just walk up to the orchard and steal loads of apples. Other times, during the u-pick season, they’ll buy a bag, load up apples, dump the apples in their car, and then load up another bag without paying for the second load.

“We feel that it is something we’ve worked hard for in the last year to grow that apple and it’s important to us,” said Hicks.

This year’s crop in New Hampshire and Massachusetts is smaller than last year’s bumper crop. Farms are hoping that thieves don’t cut into any more of the business.

At Sunnycrest and Mack’s, the season makes up 70% of the yearly business.

Londonderry Police tell WBZ-TV they take the crime very seriously and that several arrests are made each year.

MORE NEWS: MBTA Making Service Cuts Due To Bus Driver Shortage

[display-posts category=”local” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”4?”]