Other Voices: Fruitful advice for persimmon thieves

Courtesy of Dave Izant
A security camera captures a suspected persimmon thief.

We live in north Los Altos and have a very prolific persimmon tree. After we used what we could and gave away what we could, my industrious wife decided to sell the rest. She offered them at a very good price and sold approximately 50 before trouble arrived at our doorstep.

Her procedure was to set them up on a table in the garage and when customers showed up, she would let them select. She would monitor our camera when folks arrived so she could go meet them.

While she was watching for her next customer, two people (we think female, but not totally sure) showed up in hoodies and appeared on our camera. One of them ran into the garage and stole the entire tray of persimmons. My wife ran out and shouted at them (fortunately, we are old and don’t run very fast) to stop and return our persimmons.

Even though they were already a block or so away, my wife’s loud shout seemed to cause the person running with the tray with 28 persimmons to drop them and to keep running. We picked up the persimmons and the tray. The persimmons were still quite hard, so no damage done.

I will now address the thieves and hope that you are reading this. Others who are contemplating similar activities would also benefit from this. Several years ago, the city of New York instituted a “broken windows” policy to reduce crime. The idea was to arrest people for relatively low-level crimes and give them some modest punishment, the hope being that this would deter them from going on to bigger things. It was deemed to be a very successful program.

Stealing persimmons is about as low-level crime as one would imagine, but it is a start and would be considered a crime, which may stay on your record and come to haunt you later on. Also, remember that there are cameras everywhere.

That, however, is not the point. Honesty is what you do when no one is looking. I hope the thieves who took our persimmons will realize that this time they dodged a bullet and may not be so lucky next time. Time to start living an honest life!

Dave Izant is a Los Altos resident.

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