UPDATED: Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 2:55pm
Waco, Tx — A common crime you may be unaware of is becoming more popular this fall in the city of Waco. It's called pecan thrashing.
Police say citizens are most commonly going down to the Pecan Bottoms at Cameron Park to strike the trees and collect the nuts. But, gathering those crops could come with a heavier price tag than anticipated.
Picking fallen pecans off the ground in public areas, like you can often see people doing, is perfectly fine. But, lately Waco police have been getting more calls about thrashing.
"About this time of the year, when the pecans start falling, people try to get a few extra out the trees. So, they'll throw objects up in the tree and try to knock a few extra loose," said Sergeant Patrick Swanton, Waco Police Department Spokesman.
Swanton says thrashing is not only dangerous to you but also harmful to the trees. For local business owner, Dan Russell, pecan harvesting is a way of life. So, he takes protecting his crops seriously.
"I was brought up in this business. I'm almost 62-years-old. My dad and his dad before that started the pecan business down in the Lampasas area," said Russell.
Russell says he gets occasional trespassers in his orchard, looking to steal pecans. But, when they come, Russell says he doesn't hesitate to alert authorities.
"Just because pecans fall off a tree don't mean they're free for you just jump a fence," said Russell.
Many people are unaware that thrashing is illegal in Texas. And, if you're caught doing it, you could be facing a class C citation. Police can also write you up for trespassing if you're caught picking on someone else's yard.