A MANGO heist is seemingly under way in the Whitsundays, with many residents reporting their trees have been "stripped bare" by people helping themselves to the summer fruit.
The owner of a Conway property was attending to her grounds on January 10 when the rental tenant alerted them that the trees in their orchard had been ravaged.
"There was not one mango left on the trees," Belynda Martin said.
Mackay Police Senior Constable Steve Smith confirmed police were investigating the incident.
"At about 11.30am on January 9 a white Ford falcon station wagon stopped at a property on Conway Road (Proserpine police division) and two adults and two children were observed to exit the car and almost strip one mango tree clean," Snr Const Smith said.
"The tree is situated about 20 metres away from the road on the property. Approximately 320 mangoes were stolen from this privately owned mango tree. That's pretty much all of them."
Police advised if anyone had a hankering for mangoes, to simply ask.
"320 mangoes equals so many smoothies! Our suggestion is that if any family wishes to sample the local produce in rural areas that they first speak with the property owners and come to an agreement," Snr Const Smith said.
"Or, there are many roadside produce stalls on the highways and roads in the northern aspect of the Mackay police district (Bowen, Whitsundays, Collinsville and Proserpine). Feel free to stop and support the local farmers."
Other residents within the area commented online that their mango trees had also been stripped without their permission, which begs the question just what is the thief planning on doing with all of these mangoes?
Since the owner of the crops raised the alarm on Facebook, one person has reportedly come forward and agreed to return some of the mangoes that they took - "apparently there is only three milk crates left as his mother really likes mangoes," Ms Martin said.
Neighbours of the first victim confirmed the thieves drove on to her property in a white station wagon and silver Subaru vehicle with children in the car, but didn't alert the owner as they thought they had gained permission.
"He's a local and I think he got scared after the online response and denies stealing mangoes from the other residents' trees in the area."
Ms Martin's post on Facebook has gone viral and received upwards of 200 likes and 40 shares, with other community members sharing how their trees have too been raided.
"You could understand a couple after asking, but the whole lot sheesh," Jusine Raftery said.
Another Conway resident Melinda Dwyer thought her trees had been spared by the thief in an initial comment, but later added "they got us too now I have to buy my kids fruit it's crap".
What are your thoughts about taking mangoes from trees on properties or on the side of the road? Leave a comment below.
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