More than 30 animals have disappeared from the Hanover Vegetable Farm on Ashland Road, and workers suspect it was a well-orchestrated overnight theft.
An officer with the Hanover County Sheriffs Office was there for hours Tuesday investigating the mystery.
Chickens, ducks, rabbits, turkeys and a peacock -- as well as bagged animal food -- went missing from the farm, which is frequented by animal lovers and children. Produce is sold at a stand on-site.
"It was definitely not a one-man job," said Hunter Sears, who works at the family farm alongside his father.
Adding to the mystery is that larger, more valuable animals were left behind, including a massive hog, goats and calves.
"One of those calves would have produced more meat than everything they stole combined, not to mention it would have been 100 times easier to steal," Sears said. "I don't know if you've ever tried to catch a chicken, but they're quick, not to mention if you've got 20 chickens."
Sears said he does not think the animals could have gotten loose from the pen; and if they had been eaten by a fox, there would be some remains.
Chucky Ferguson, who feeds the animals, said he last saw them Saturday afternoon, and they were gone when he went to feed them shortly after 6 a.m. Sunday.
The Hanover Vegetable Farm is asking that people call (804) 752-2334 if they have any information. The farm is offering $250 for a tip that leads to an arrest. ___