‘Hay’ – come back with those 32 bales you stole

Two bales of hay on white background

When thieves hit the home of one Castaic resident Thursday morning they didn’t make off with your typical loot consisting of iPad, wallet or cell phone.

They took off with 32 big bales of hay.

Kate Purnell said she wants to believe the people who absconded with her hay bales mistook the alfalfa for goods left by the curbside to be taken, the way many people put broken hot water heaters on the curb to be taken.

“I would really like to get my hay back,” she said. “And, I want to believe it was a mistake.”

A Bakersfield farmer delivered 52 bales of hay to Purnell, dropping them off in piles stacked 15 feet high near the side of the house, Purnell said.

Purnell loaded 20 of the 52 bales of hay onto her own truck and began shuttling part of a large shipment of alfalfa from the road in front of her home on The Old Road Thursday morning to her farm nearby, where nine hungry horses, some goats and rabbits were waiting to be fed.

The remaining bales were left near the road in front of her home where thieves showed up and helped themselves to the remaining 32 bales of hay.

By 9:45 a.m. the theft occurred.

Purnell posted her plea on social media: “I am praying they (hay bales) were presumed to be abandoned and will be returned, or if you know someone who ‘found’ 32 bales of alfalfa hay please contact me.

“We are very short on money right now and that was a lot of hay. Offering a reward if necessary. Please do the right thing.”

The heist

Purnell, by herself, transferred about 2,000 pounds worth of hay, in what was intended to be the first of couple of trips to the farm where she unloaded the first 20 bales.

“I grabbed a drink because I was sweating so much, then drove back thinking I’ll take 12 bales next trip.  I turned the corner onto The Old Road and all the hay was gone.  There were just little bits of hay scattered on the ground.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” she said. “It didn’t cross my mind that it could be stolen.”

The stolen hay amounts to a month’s worth of food for Purnell’s farm animals, valued about $1,000.

The thieves were seen by one neighbor pulling up to the side of the road loading bales of stacked hay onto a newer model dark blue – albeit sagging – pickup truck. They were described as two white men in their 30s.

Purnell did notify deputies and file a report with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, she said.


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on Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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