Neighbours told us the nectarine tree that grew in our front garden bore beautiful fruit. The trouble is that our family never ever got to eat a ripened one. For 2 years in a row someone came into the garden, which was fenced and gated, to pick each and every fruit just before they were ready to eat.
After the 2nd incident I pruned the tree HARD, so hard it didn't fruit for a couple of years. Then it was laden with many tiny fruit and I thought our family would have nectarines a plenty, as surely the fruit thief would have moved onto greener pastures by now.
Did not happen. One day I was working in front garden, but out of sight, and noticed a gentleman taking an exceptionally long look at the tree and I committed him to memory as I felt he 'was the one'. Saw him again in the coming weeks and it always seemed as though he was checking out the tree.
Just as the fruit was ripening, I chopped down the tree, fruit and all. If I was not going to eat any then no-one else was either !!!!
This happened 20 years ago and my now adult children still laugh about the day Mum went 'George Washington and chopped down the nectarine tree.' My biggest regret is not witnessing the fruit thief's face when they saw what I had done.