A Langley City couple is upset that all the fruit their lovingly tended plum tree produced this year has been stolen. The pair said they've waited seven years for the tree to bear fruit.

Langley couple plum frustrated by theft

City residents wonder whether homeless person stripped their prized plum tree of all its fruit

Sunnie Skoumal says if the man who stole all the plums off their backyard tree had only asked, she and her husband Denny would have been willing to share .

Instead, the person entered their fenced-off backyard and proceeded to strip almost all the fruit from the tree.

It happened sometime early Sunday morning, August 14.

“It disappeared like a dream,” Sunnie said.

“I’m really heartbroken.”

What made it worse was the fact the tree, after seven years of being patiently tended, had finally produced a full crop of the delicious Italian-variety plums that Denny likes.

“Those branches were loaded with plums,” said Sunnie, who planted the tree as a present for her husband.

“Finally, we got a bumper crop.”

Even worse, the plums were ripe enough for picking, but the couple had decided to leave them up for another week or two to achieve maximum sweetness.

Now, there was only a handful left.

And by the next morning, they were gone, too.

“That was bizarre,” Denny said.

“They came back.”

Sunnie said it was “scary” to think that someone was in their back yard, twice, while they were sleeping just a few feet away in their house.

On the day a Times reporter visited, there was just one lone surviving plum.

A neighbour told the couple they saw a suspicious male with a skateboard and backpack in the area around the time the theft would have taken place.

Denny and Sunnie have been living there 15 years without incident.

But lately, they said, things have begun to change.

Neighbours are complaining about a rise in petty theft, with items disappearing from backyards and car ports.

They wonder if it has something to do with the establishment of a homeless camp on the Nickomkl floodplain near 208 Street and Fraser Highway, which is about a 10-minute walk from their neighbourhood.

“Crime has risen (here) since the tent city set up,” Sunnie says.

Denny wonders if the homeless in Langley City have been displaced by other communities.

“Where did they come from?” he said.

Langley City, like all B.C. municipalities, has limited powers to control homeless camping thanks to a court decision that found homeless tents are legal in public spaces so long as they are taken down during the day.

Last year, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled that when there aren’t enough shelter spaces in a community, banning sheltered outdoor sleeping violates fundamental rights.

The decision overturned a city of Abbotsford ban on sleeping overnight in city parks.

Just Posted

Heartbreak in 2017 turns to jubilation in 2018 for TWU hockey

After coming close last season, Spartans hockey team captures first championship in program history

VIDEO: Officer knocked down by truck trailer in Langley City

IRSU investigator was looking for distracted drivers

Free parking not in the cards for Fraser Valley hospitals

Chair says board may look at ways to make parking easier, but not free

VIDEO: Fans line up to meet Riverdale stars

Actor Cole Sprouse treated fans in Langley to hugs, selfies and autographs

Talking about poverty reduction in Langley

Provincial Ministry of Social Development to hold Poverty Reduction Strategy community meeting

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

New Liberal bill would tighten controls on sale, licensing of firearms in Canada

Measures are intended to assist police in investigating gun trafficking and other crimes

Murder charges upgraded for B.C. man accused of killing wife and daughters

Crown approved new information on Jacob Forman’s file

5 to start your day

Some puppies need naming, a police-involved death in South Surrey and more

Janet Austin announced as B.C.’s new lieutenant governor

Austin has served as YWCA Metro Vancouver CEO since 2003

Ex-French president Sarkozy in custody on Gadhafi claims

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was placed in custody as part of an investigation that he received millions of euros in illegal financing

Hockey pioneer Kwong dies at 94

Vernon’s Larry Kwong was the first player to break NHL colour barrier in 1948

How Facebook likes could profile voters for manipulation

Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica, a data-analysis firm worked for Trump’s 2016 campaign

Most Read