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Harvard professor accused of stealing manure 4/6/2005, 9:10 a.m. ET The Associated Press
A Harvard economics professor has been accused of neglecting the standard market practice of paying for goods and services by trying to steal a truckload of manure from a horse farmer.
Stable manager Phillip Casey says Martin Weitzman, Harvard University's Ernest E. Monrad Professor of Economics, has been stealing manure from Charlie Lane's Rockport farm for years.
Casey said he found Weitzman on the property last Friday, so he blocked in Weitzman's pickup truck and called police. Weitzman got angry, Casey said, then offered to pay for the manure he'd already taken. But Casey said he wouldn't budge because he wanted the thefts to stop.
"He offered me $20 for it and then $40 for it," Casey said.
Casey said the land was marked private property and Weitzman, 63, had been warned before.
"He's been doing it for years," Casey told the Gloucester Daily Times.
The farm sells the manure for $35 a truckload and also uses it to fertilize a pasture.
Weitzman, who lives in neighboring Gloucester, is charged with larceny under $250, trespassing, and malicious destruction of property for tearing up some land with his tires.
Weitzman did not immediately return calls to his home or office on Wednesday morning. His attorney also did immediately return a call on Wednesday.