A mysterious and malicious potato saboteur has terrified the farmers of Prince Edward Island, Canada, by placing pins, needles and nails into their prized tubers.
As PEI spends millions on metal detectors, the PEI Potato Board is offering 500,000 Canadian dollars ($400,000) for tips that lead to the arrest of the individuals responsible.
Alex Docherty, chair of the PEI Potato Board, said in a statement that the board was quintupling the reward to "maximize the chance that those responsible will be brought to justice.”
Nobody has been hurt by the sharp objects yet. Police are investigating, but have made no arrests. It's an unusually dark turn of events for the so-called Gentle Island, where the Anne of Green Gables novels were set.
The spike in spiking has alarmed PEI farmers, and with good reason. The island's potato industry is worth over CA$1 billion, and potatoes make up 50 percent of farm cash receipts. PEI farmers and packers have been forced to destroy inventory and spend CA$5 million on metal detectors, according to a statement. Of that, $2 million came from federal funds.
“It’s food terrorism,” Docherty told the Guardian. “The people doing this are cowards, lower than a snake wearing snowshoes. These are really evil people.”
"The fear is always there for other people will want to do the same thing because somebody got away with it," another potato farmer told CBC Canada.