Skip to main content

Stolen giant pumpkin returned to its owner – but not before thief tried to carve it

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

There's a happy ending for a South Dakota man whose story went global after a giant pumpkin was stolen from his yard.

Matthew Murraine, of Spearfish, had appealed for the return of the pumpkin after it was stolen from his yard on Sept. 19 by a thief who cut the stem with the saw and backed their vehicle right up to the house to load it and cart it away, the Black Hills Pioneer reports.

After the story went viral, the pumpkin was found discarded by the side of the road – though not before the thief made an attempt to carve it

A passerby found the pumpkin and returned it to Murraine this week.

The 100-pound Big Max pumpkin was valued at around $200, and in the wake of its theft, the story was picked up by The Associated Press and was reported around the world.

"The Washington Post, Courthouse News, KSFY, AP, Yahoo news, Yahoo news UK: It ran everywhere," Murraine told the Black Hills Pioneer. "I was a little overwhelmed. I just wanted people in Spearfish to know."

Murraine had intended to give the pumpkin to his children, and after its theft two other local growers had pledged their own pumpkins to them to make up for it.

Speaking to The Washington Post, Murraine said that it wasn't even ripe at the time it was stolen.

"Kind of a foolish time to take a pumpkin, in the middle of September," he told the newspaper.

Canned pumpkin could in short supply for Thanksgiving

Amid the pumpkin thief in South Dakota, there has been a wider warning over this year's pumpkin crop, which won't affect Halloween but could lead to supply issues at Thanksgiving.

There are concerns over the crop in Illinois, the biggest pumpkin-growing state in the country, and it means there might not be enough left over for the canned pumpkin used to make pies come Thanksgiving.

"I would not wait until Nov. 20," University of Illinois professor Mohammed Babadoost told the Chicago Tribune. "I'd buy it whenever it comes to the store."

Libby, one of the biggest canned pumpkin makers, told the newspaper yields could be off by as much as a third in Illinois, which grows 90 percent of the country's crop.

Next Up

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Minneapolis teen charged in carjacking, chase that left 2 dead

Two 16-year-olds died when the SUV they crashed in was split in half.

BasswoodMug

Minnesota woman who pointed gun at officer sentenced to 10 years in prison

The sheriff's deputy shot the woman multiple times in the incident.

TiresRoadForestLake

Who left tires all over the road in Forest Lake?

Authorities said they would "love to chat" with the people responsible.

AlexanderKueng

Ex-cop Kueng sentenced to 3½ years in prison in killing of George Floyd

Kueng pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in October.

MinneapolisChildGoFundMe

Effort to support flu-stricken boy who spent his birthday on ventilator

The 10-year-old has been on a ventilator after complications followed.

nbm-conus-ncentus-total_snow_10to1-1170400

What's the latest on next week's major snowstorm system?

The storm is coming. It's just a matter of where the biggest snow totals occur.

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 12.01.44 PM

Twin Cities radio host Matt McNeil seriously injured in crash

A post on his social media account says he'll recover.

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 12.48.55 PM

Marshalls in downtown Minneapolis to close its doors to shoppers

The company confirmed it will be open until mid-January.

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 9.45.35 AM

Boys aged 12 and 14 arrested after fleeing police in stolen car

The two boys were charged with felony fleeing in a motor vehicle and receiving stolen property.

JackknifedSemiI35

Heavy snow brings multiple crashes to southern Minnesota roads

The snowfall is expected to end sometime Friday morning.

Cheetah Pizza

Edina pizza joint quietly closes after 38 years

The restaurant was located at 5125 Edina Industrial Blvd.

Related

Stolen classic Chevy has been returned to its owner

It had been taken along with a trailer in early February.

Dogs stolen in Maplewood returned to owners by sister of thief

Koda and Willow have been reunited with their owners.