Farmer offers $5K reward after vandalism
By Carrie A. Mizell
As area growers begin picking watermelons, one local farmer is trying to find the person(s) responsible for vandalizing a watermelon field in northeast Gilchrist County over the weekend.
Bell farmer Josh Moore is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) involved in vandalizing his equipment. According to Moore, sometime between 1 p.m. on Friday and early Saturday morning, someone entered his watermelon field on 55th Avenue and shot holes in a 1,200 gallon fertilizer tank. The tank was full of fertilizer at the time. Moore said whoever is responsible for the vandalism also ran over four 16-foot access gates on the property.
In all his years of farming in Gilchrist County, Moore said this is the first time he has ever had to deal with vandalism. Moore said he has 400 acres planted in watermelons within a two mile radius of Ginnie Springs. Over the weekend, not one but two fields were targeted. A second field Moore has watermelons planted in, this one at the end of County Road 138, had a port-a-potty shot up.
Despite Lt. David Aderholt of the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office saying he believes this is an isolated incident, Moore thinks the crime was malicious.
“It’s crazy because there was other stuff there they could have taken,” Moore said. “There was irrigation in that field and it wasn’t even touched.”
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office at (352) 463-3410 in reference to Case #1201043, or call Josh Moore at (352) 258-6309.