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Thieves steal nearly entire grape harvest overnight at Montgomery Co. vineyard

Owners of Firefly Hill Vineyards discovered most of their grapes were missing when they went to cut the vines on September 11, 2018.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WSET) -- Apparent thieves went to extreme measures, stealing almost an entire harvest of grapes from Firefly Hill Vineyards.

That's roughly $20,000.00 worth, and $50,000.00 when you add the blood, sweat and tears that went into cultivating them.

Firefly Hill Vineyards has been in business for 12 years, serving up wine and a place for people to make lasting memories.

Just as the family was about to reap what they have sown for harvest on September 11, they made a jaw dropping discovery.

“I just stopped and started walking though the vineyard and noticed that the crop was gone," said David Dunkenberger, one of the owners.

He said thieves came overnight, under the cover of darkness, and hauled off nearly the entire crop. It's a feat he said would require at least a group of eight people and vehicles equipped to drive off with it.

Dunkenberger said it was hard breaking the news to his parents.

“I said, 'I know you guys are gonna think I’m crazy, but somebody’s been here and picked this, because there were grapes here yesterday," he said.

Now, they’re left without what they’ve worked so hard for, and left with just three buckets of grapes and no idea who would do this.

“Thankfully, I can’t think of anybody. I don’t want to think of anybody," Dunkenburger said.

He lashed out on social media, but he said he’s thankful for the support they've received far and wide, and they’ll do what they can to move forward.

“We get through it together. That’s part of what makes it a family vineyard," he said.

Dunkenberger said they still have a lot of wine to bottle up from last season, and the tasting room will reopen in October.

ABC 13 reached out to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and was told the case is under investigation.

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