CARPINTERIA, Calif. - A Carpinteria avocado and cherimoya grower is fed up after thieves trespassed onto his property to break into his neighbor's marijuana grow for the third time.
The man, who didn't want to be identified, said it's happening at night at grows all over the Carpinteria Valley, and the area is becoming more dangerous.
“We don’t want to get hurt and we don’t want anybody to get hurt," he said.
The man said he no longer feels safe walking through his 120-acre farm at night.
The morning after Christmas, the man said he noticed car tracks on his orchard where he never drives. He walked around and stumbled upon a large amount of clipped pot plants thieves left on the ground.
He believes the thieves cut through his fence and stole pot from his neighbor's property then drove out.
In recent years, more flower farmers in the Carpinteria Valley have turned to pot to make a profit while faced with competition from growers in South America.
The man said the proliferation of marijuana farms is bringing more crime to the area and dividing the farming community between those who grow pot and those who don't. "
"We don’t see eye to eye anymore," he said.
The man believes the community will become even more unsafe when marijuana becomes legal in January.
“It's going to get worse before it gets better. Carpinteria is a small community and it has no place for marijuana growing. It needs to go somewhere else.”
The man said thieves have come to his property twice before. One time they tried to steal his car and another time he had to fire his gun as a warning.
He also said he believes the thieves have hidden pot throughout his orchard and worries they will try to return to retrieve it.