It’s a pepper caper. And a spicy one at that.
The owner of PuckerButt Pepper Company told Fort Mill police some of his world record peppers may have been stolen and sent to a competing business. According to the police report, the “prize, world record peppers” may have been stolen straight from the fields and mailed to Lakeside, Calif.
A PuckerButt employee sent owner Ed Currie photos showing peppers that appeared to be mailed from Rock Hill, the report states. The field growing the peppers is on U.S. 21 and Coltharp Road in Fort Mill. It is secured by a 10-foot fence. The company’s business attorney advised the owner to file a police report so the incident could be investigated.
The report states four peppers were taken from the field in Fort Mill.
The police report doesn’t name the California company, which according to online information sells spicy chile seeds, plants and fresh chiles. The report does not implicate the California company in the theft and mailing of the purloined peppers.
PuckerButt opened a downtown Fort Mill store in 2012, setting up shop on Main Street after some time prior at the now closed Plaza Fiesta mall in the Carowinds area. PuckerButt is known for its spiciest pepper, the Carolina Reaper. In late 2013 the pepper was awarded the title of hottest chili by Guinness World Records.
Spiciness, or the heat of a chili pepper, is measured in Scoville heat units and American Spice Trade Association “pungency units,” accord to Guinness. The ratings measure the concentration of capsaicin in the pepper.