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Thousands of Pine Cones stolen

- Distribution racks cleaned out


Published: March 20, 2009

THE CARMEL Pine Cone is encouraging readers to download last week’s edition from from the paper’s website after more than 8,000 printed copies were stolen from racks all over the Monterey Peninsula.

Someone driving a blue pickup truck was spotted at numerous locations around Carmel taking large stacks of Pine Cones. Under California law, it is a misdemeanor to take multiple copies of a free newspaper for the purpose of stopping someone from reading it.

One employee, who didn’t want to be identified, said she confronted a man who appeared to be in his 30s, who took a bundle at a Carmel Rancho business.

“I said, ‘You can’t take all of those,’” the clerk said, “and he really didn’t turn around. I said, ‘Excuse me, you can’t take all those; you can only have one.’ I said, ‘Why do you want all of them?’ And he said, ‘Just to have them.’”

The man, who was described as about 5 feet 7 inches tall, with dark brown hair, a goatee and a medium build, drove off in a blue truck.

“We have received descriptions of several people seen taking our newspapers, and we will have them prosecuted and file a civil suit against them as soon as they are identified,” said publisher Paul Miller.

Numerous Pine Cone readers contacted The Pine Cone offices in Carmel and Pacific Grove, saying they had a hard time finding a copy of the newspaper in their usual pickup areas. Those who couldn’t find one were given a copy or directed to The Pine Cone’s website at

“Why are all the Pine Cones gone from P.G.?” a reader said. “I can’t find one anywhere.”

“People love The Pine Cone, and they’re disappointed if they can’t have one,” said an employee at a Carmel supermarket.

“Someone keeps taking all the Pine Cones from in front of Nielsen’s and Carmel Camera Center,” another reader said.

Though Pine Cones were restocked at many of the emptied machines, the thieves went back and stole them again, some readers said.

The Pine Cone distributes 18,000 printed copies and about 6,000 online copies in pdf every week.