Polk SO: Thieves stole almost $800 of honey from Lake Wales shop

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Thieves snatched hundreds of dollars worth of honey from a small, family-owned business in Lake Wales, Florida.

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, three people stole approximately $800 worth of the sweet, local honey from the long-time store.

Struthers' Honey, located off of SR 60, was established in 1935 and according to its owners, ever since it opened, it has been selling honey based on the honor system.

Customers walk into the store, take what they need, and drop the payment off in a chest near the front entrance.

“We believe in you, when you walk in here, that you’re going to do the right thing,” said Lotta Kay Struthers, who runs the business with her husband and son.

The Struthers say the system has worked well over the years, allowing them to concentrate on beekeeping, instead of running the store. But lately, they've noticed missing inventory, which led them to set up surveillance cameras.

This month the cameras caught three thieves red-handed.

Investigators with the Polk County Sheriff's Office said July 6, about $373 worth of honey was taken after only $13 was left behind. Then, July 14, $420 worth of honey was taken after only $5 was left behind.

With honey production entering a low season, the Struthers say it's a huge financial hit. However, they don't plan on changing their tradition.

“I was born and raised here, and I know Polk County is changing, just like the rest of the world, but we are just bound and determined by the grace of God, that this is going to stand,” Struthers said.