SOLON, Ohio — You know it’s Fall in Northeast Ohio when pumpkins start disappearing from porches in Cleveland’s eastern suburbs, but the pumpkin pilferers are starting to run into resistance.
For the past half century, students at Chagrin Falls High School have taken part in the annual Pumpkin Roll, a tradition that involves smashing pumpkins on Grove Hill, to create a slippery sheen of pumpkin goop, and then sliding down the hill.
Over the years, the pumpkins were taken from the porches of homes in Chagrin Falls and surrounding communities, and police and most homeowners have turned a blind eye to the trespassing and pumpkin theft.
But in the video age, the mischief is now being caught on camera, as it was on a Ring doorbell in Solon on Tuesday night. Homeowner Ann Ramsey said she posted the video on social media as a warning to other homeowners that it’s Pumpkin Roll season.
“If your kids are picking out pumpkins and it’s going to be meaningful for them for Halloween, keep it inside until Halloween because otherwise this is going to happen,” said Ramsey. “My daughter was a little bit upset because it was something that she had picked out and we’ve never had that happen in all the years that we’ve lived in Solon.”
Ramsey elected not to call police and said she had a good reason: she is a 1993 graduate of Chagrin Falls High.
“My reaction was ‘I guess it’s karma’ because I did the Pumpkin Roll when I was in high school and did the same thing,” she said.
But five teenagers from Chagrin Falls found out the hard way on Tuesday night that not everyone supports the tradition of stealing pumpkins. They were caught red handed taking a pumpkin and were arrested by Solon Police. They are now facing theft charges.
Homeowners in Solon and other communities are even posting signs warning the mischief makers from Chagrin Falls that their pumpkins are off limits.
“If you’re going to do it, stay in your own city because I mean a theft is a theft,” said Ann Ramsey.
Police said the teens who were arrested will more than likely be sentenced to community service.
Despite the controversy, there are still many homeowners who love the tradition of the Pumpkin Roll and some even put out extra pumpkins for the students to take.