The Katama strawberry heist

Approximately $300 worth of strawberries were picked and stolen from the Old Town Gardens farm. 

$300 worth of strawberries were allegedly stolen from Old Town Gardens. — Abigail Rosen

Updated June 2

A Katama farm may have been hit by strawberry bandits. 

Old Town Gardens co-owner Lynne Daniels reported to Edgartown Police that there was a “possible theft of strawberries from her farm.” 

Daniels alleged that someone entered her property and picked strawberries at some point between 2 pm on Saturday, May 27, and 2 pm on Sunday, May 28. 

Daniels told police, which was detailed in a police report filed on Tuesday, that the gate to the strawberry patch was “breached by one of the posts being pulled out of the ground.” Daniels alleged that the perpetrator picked around six quarts of strawberries, which she estimated to be valued at about $300. Daniels is certain the strawberries were picked by people and “not harvested by any wildlife.” 

Police are not taking further action. Edgartown Police Chief Bruce McNamee said while he would love to find the perpetrator, at this time the department did not have enough clues to follow. “We are mindful of the incident,” McNamee said. 

Old Town is owned by the Daniels family, which also includes Robert Daniels, Rebecca Daniels and Mark Daniels.

The incident caught traction on social media, where commenters have bemoaned the alleged theft.

Daniels told police that she will try to “harden the access to the strawberry patch” and look into installing cameras to prevent future heists, but she maintains that her property is clearly marked with a “no trespassing” sign. 

This isn’t the first time the Katama farmers have been victims of a theft, Daniels told The Times during a visit to the farm. Unknown thieves have taken all kinds of crops, from cabbage plants to tomatoes to flowers. She has notified the police every time, but knows it’s unlikely police can do much.

And it always seems to happen around the same time of year, between Memorial Day and early June. “It’s unconscionable … Every year there’s something,” Daniels said.

With the theft of the strawberries, Daniels estimates that the business lost around two weeks of sales. 

But, she said, it’s not just about the money. It could take up to two years to be able to harvest the berries that were stolen. Farming isn’t an easy business, Daniels said: “It’s a lot of time, and a lot of effort.” 

She said the particular strawberries taken were plucked from the plants. The thief took berries in various maturity — white, pink, orange, and red — but left all the green ones. Those will take a few weeks before they’re harvestable. 

Old Town Farms is one of the oldest farms represented at Island farmers markets, and has been run by Daniels’ family for almost half a century. Most of the labor on the property is by family members, with one employee.


  1. $300 for 6 quarts of strawberries? I hope that’s a typo. A quart of strawberries is usually right around 2-2 1/2 lbs. That comes out to roughly somewhere between 20 and 25 dollars a pound. At those peices, those berries better be doing my taxes before the end up in the jam.

    • It’s Katama to most except those who now. Split hairs on something other than $50 a pound starwberries

      • It is the Great Plains not Katama. Probably only a few of us are still bothered by the mistake because there are so few Islanders left. Regardless it sucks that someone stole Lynn’s strawberries. Regardless of the value.

    • No location of the farm is listed other then “a Katama farm” I lived in Katama for 15 years, and never heard of this farm and have no idea where it is.
      However, Wikipedia describes Katama as residential area of Edgartown Mass and boarded on the west by Edgartown Great Pond, the east by Katama Bay and the south by the Atlantic Ocean. It starts at the fork in the road as you head south out of central Edgartown. It mentions it is sometimes know as “The Great Plains” or the “Great Katama Plains” No mention of “Edgartown Great Plains” could be found.

      • I’ve told people before that Wikipedia is not a great resource. Google also describes it as Katama. True Katama is located on the Edgartown Harbor side. Past Down Harbor and before Mattakesett but it sells houses to call it all Katama.

  2. Stealing is wrong. $50 a quart seems so expensive. I wonder how many of those standard boxes of strawberries are contained in a quart?

  3. Who are you people?? All you got outta this story is how much money?? Put your addresses in the comments so people can come over at their leisure and do some unauthorized “shopping” I’m sure the money won’t be what gets you wound up then!

  4. Did anyone track down Peter Rabbit?
    Seriously, when will perpetrators understand hardworking people can’t just loose $300.00 worth of produce. Or that they have the right to just take things that aren’t theirs.

    They should be ashamed.

  5. They should grow pumpkins instead, I love pumpkins, I used to line my driveway with pumpkins

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