Bob Butler/KCBS Radio

Former 49er Offers $15,000 To Catch Cherry Tree Vandals

May 24, 2019 - 2:15 pm

BRENTWOOD — Former 49er Jeremy Newberry has found that farming can be a lot harder than blocking a blitzing linebacker.

Newberry retired from the NFL in 2009. He and his wife, Sabrina, ran a wedding venue until last year. He bought 40 acres of cherry trees in Brentwood and quickly, the challenges began. 

First, it was the rain, which was not good for cherries. Then, last week, someone tore up 2,000, or half, of the new trees Newberry had planted.

“One person didn’t come in and do this. This was a group of people,” said Newberry. “The rain, you can’t deal with--it is what it is. Mother Nature’s going to give us what it gives us, but the people tearing my trees up was obviously very disheartening.”

The former center for the Niners has increased the reward for helping catch the vandals from $5,000 to $15,000. 

He said that law enforcement has been diligent too. 

“The sheriff’s department out has really stepped up what they are trying to do out here,” said Newberry. “They’ve taken DNA samples out here. They’ve done a ton of stuff.”

Newberry admits he didn’t know a lot about farming, but he’s a quick learner and has never backed down from a challenge.

“You don’t have to be very big or strong or fast to farm, but I guess you need a little bit of luck, just like in the NFL,” said Newberry.