Accused hoop house thief says 'stolen' vegetables belong to her - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Accused hoop house thief says 'stolen' vegetables belong to her

A woman was arrested in front of her 12-year-old child for allegedly stealing vegetables, but she claims the plants were hers to begin with. A woman was arrested in front of her 12-year-old child for allegedly stealing vegetables, but she claims the plants were hers to begin with.
A police affidavit says Sudbury took $6,000 worth of plants from the Memphis Roots Farm hoop house on East Brooks Road a month ago. A police affidavit says Sudbury took $6,000 worth of plants from the Memphis Roots Farm hoop house on East Brooks Road a month ago.

(WMC) - A woman was arrested in front of her 12-year-old child for allegedly stealing vegetables, but she claims the plants were hers to begin with.

"I'm still in shock that I got arrested over tomato plants that I ordered seeds for, that I planted with my daughters and I took care of," said Jennifer Sudbury on the phone. "That [the arrest] happened in front of my daughter and my neighbors."

A police affidavit says Sudbury took $6,000 worth of plants from the Memphis Roots Farm hoop house on East Brooks Road a month ago. She is charged with burglary and theft of property.

Sudbury's attorney Ken Brashier has receipts for the seeds and equipment she bought as part of the of the Roots Farm Academy run by executive director Wesley Riddle.

Students pay $1,800 for an eight-month program that teaches sustainable farming. Sudbury signed a contract that said she would give 10 percent of her profits for the sale of her plants, but she says Riddle wanted her to sign a new contract giving 40 percent.

Things deteriorated and Sudbury wanted out.

It is not clear why Riddle told police a month later that she stole the plants. Sudbury says people at the farm saw her doing it and never said anything.

"Its a travesty of justice. We think the public and community needs to know what's going on," said Brashier.

Wesley Riddle with Roots Memphis Farm Academy had no comment.

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