Dartmouth Farm Suspects Turn Themselves In After Easter Fridge Raid
A group of people turned themselves into Dartmouth Police Monday night, admitting to stealing hundreds of dollars worth of food from Paskamansett Farms.
The farm's owner, Bill Coutu, says the group initially called the farm, upset about the attention the story was getting online.
"They said it was a mistake. They thought the food was free," Coutu said. "I told them I didn't want to hear it. I told them to go down to the police station and pay the money back. They got so mad, they hung up on me."
Shortly after, the offenders showed up at the police station to turn themselves in. Coutu agreed to restitution rather than pressing charges, and the money was paid back Monday night.
Dartmouth Police spokesperson Detective Kyle Costa confirmed that the group had identified themselves to the investigating officer Scott Affonse.
"You just can't get away with crimes like these anymore," Costa said. "Cameras are everywhere."
Some comments on Facebook voiced disagreement with Paskamansett Farms' decision to release the surveillance video, saying that the people in question were hungry and needed food, but Costa said a crime is a crime.
"Can you just walk into Shaw's, Stop and Shop or Market Basket and just start stuffing food in your bags? No," he said. "In some ways, it's actually a lot worse to do this to a small business that is barely turning a profit. It's hitting a small business owner a little harder than it is a big corporation. Everybody could use the excuse 'I needed it.' It doesn't make it OK. There are plenty of local pantries that provide food to people who need it."
Coutu says he has recently upgraded his surveillance cameras on the farm's property.
"We have cameras all over the place here. The video doesn't lie. I have one camera that looks right into the money jar that can read the serial numbers of the bills going in. I can see the money in their hand as it's going into the can."
Despite Monday's incident, Paskamansett Farms will continue to utilize the honor system for sales of items after hours.