South Portland family offers reward for return of pilfered pumpkins

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SOUTH PORTLAND — A Colchester Drive family is offering a $100 reward for the return of two giant, home-grown pumpkins.

Linda Stocks said a 70-pound pumpkin was stolen from their porch sometime last week, and a 90-pound pumpkin was stolen at around 11 p.m. Thursday night, Oct. 29. Stock said the family decided to leave the 90-pound pumpkin on the porch after the first heist, because they figured it would be too heavy for the bandits to steal.

“I could barely lift it an inch off the ground and (husband) Peter had to roll it into place,” she said. “We heard the disruption (on Thursday night), but we thought it was the kids falling out of bed.”

Stocks said she hopes the $100 reward will lead to the return of one, if not both, of the pumpkins. 

Stocks said her 6-year-old daughter, Isabel, and 2 year-old son, Sam, are distraught over the thefts, because they worked so hard to grow them with their dad in what was otherwise a bad harvest year. The family took great measures to produce those pumpkins – from planting the seeds in rainy month of June, to building tents to shelter the fledgling squash from the summer sun, to daily waterings. 

“If they were regular pumpkins we had bought at store it would be no big deal,” Stocks said. “But we nursed these pumpkins every single day.” 

The family had planned on carving the pumpkins Friday evening. Stocks said the family event would have resulted in the mathematical symbol for Pi being carved into the pumpkin to show off to their friends at a Halloween party Saturday night. 

Also, Isabel Stocks was looking forward to showcasing the pumpkin at her seventh birthday party on Sunday. 

It gives Linda Stocks hope that no one in the neighborhood has seen any evidence of the pumpkins being smashed. She said she hopes the thieves are as impressed with the pumpkins as the family and will preserve them, rather than needlessly destroy them. 

Meanwhile, Stocks had a hard time explaining the situation to her kids. 

“They were just puzzled,” she said. “They couldn’t understand why anyone would do this.” 

Anyone with information about the pumpkin thefts can call the Stocks at 899-1232. 

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or


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s-sppumpkin.jpgIsabel Stock, 6, a first-grader at Dyer Elementary School in South Portland, poses with the 90-pound pumpkin she grew with her family. It was stolen on Thursday and the family is offering a $100 reward for its return.