Wild Hill Honey's owner reacts to vandals who almost destroyed his business being caught
Sioux City, IA (Siouxland News) —
It was such a senseless act, destroying a half million of our dwindling bee population here in Siouxland.
Who would do such a thing? Well, Sioux City police say they've caught the culprits, a 12 and 13 year old boy.
Justin Engelhardt doesn't have much resentment towards the young men who vandalized and nearly destroyed his business.
What Engelhardt does say is he's overwhelmed by the community's support and the great work done by the Sioux City Police Department.
In late December Wild Hill Honey, a family owned business that sells honey here in Sioux City, was almost completely ran out of business when their 50 beehives were destroyed.
It was discovered that two juveniles ages 12 and 13 were the culprits behind the nearly $60,000 in damages.
Engelhardt said, "Hopefully this punishment deters future acts of vandalism and maybe it will help transform them. And maybe they'll learn to be better people."
Wild Hill Honey is located on a secluded acreage right off West 6th street, making it hard for any evidence to come out of the investigation.
Engelhardt tips his hat to the Sioux City Police Department on being able to apprehend the vandals.
"There were no witnesses yet in just a couple weeks they were able to apprehend the vandals. It's really remarkable and a testament to the dedication and professionalism of the Sioux City Police Department," said Englehardt.
The community also rallied around the Engelhardt's and their business, with three different go fund me pages popping up to help rebuild the business.
"I had no idea that there could be so much compassion shown by the community. And it's been a real eye opening experience," said Engelhardt in response to the communities support.
Englehardt says the communities support has been more than enough and Wild Hill Honey should be starting back up in the April, with some adjustments.
He said, "We're going to put the hives in a different location and this time we're going to install a really robust security system so I feel, I feel confident moving forward."
Engelhardt says he's paying Siouxland's generosity forward as well.
Over the weekend 200,000 bees were destroyed in California, Engelhardt and his wife donated some money to that beekeepers cause and hopes their community rallies around him like Sioux City did for them.
The juveniles in this case were charged with criminal mischief, 3rd degree burglary, possession of burglars tools, and agricultural animal facilities offenses.