If you drove by St. Paul's Methodist Church at Rockdale Avenue and Kempton street, you may have thought you were in the middle of a pumpkin patch.

The church is selling the pumpkins on consignment and has an agreement with a distributor to receive a portion of whatever they sell with proceeds going to the church's sponsorship of a 14-year-old Rwandan girl through the World Vision program.

However, some individuals thought the pumpkins were free for the taking, and church officials say that an estimated $300 in pumpkins were either damaged or stolen Saturday and Sunday.

Neighbors told church officials they saw people picking up and walking off with their pumpkins that were displayed on the Rockdale Avenue side of the church.

The pumpkins have price tags on them and they are not a church display.

Now to avoid any confusion by people who might think they are free, the church plans to have a "for sale" sign up near the pumpkins. Church officials also plan to take security precautions by blocking the driveway at night, since the fundraiser will run through October and the larger pumpkins are "too heavy" to bring indoors at night.

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