The Day ISIS Came to Florida and Complained About Tomato Prices

ISIS california

MILTON, Florida— Robert and Thelma Smith run a fruit stand out of their home. It’s a paltry little thing, perched just in front of their single-wide trailer. A handwritten sign advertises watermelons at $4.00 each. The elements have peeled it back slightly, revealing another sign underneath offering fish plates for $7.00. “We got cantaloupe. We got watermelons. Tomatoes. Squash.” Said Thelma, through a thick backwoods accent.

July 1st was like any other day for the couple. But things were about to get strange. Really, really strange. The Smiths say a brown car with no tags pulled up to their fruit stand. Two men got out of the car, both were wearing robes, had long white beards, and turbans. The Smiths say the men “looked Middle Eastern” and had accents.

The Smith’s home and fruit stand. (Photo courtesy of WEAR ABC 3)

“Just the way they were acting,” Thelma said. “They kept looking like they were checking the place out and it just scared me.” She says the men began arguing with her husband, and that’s when they revealed why they had come to the Smith’s home.

ISIS in California
Robert and Thelma Smith working at their fruit stand. (Photo courtesy of WEAR ABC 3)

“I was right there and I noticed the man was getting argumentative with my husband and I said, ‘What’s going on Bobby?'”

“He’s demanding me to tell them where our son is,” Robert replied. The men claimed to be members of ISIS, the international terror organization that aims to create a global caliphate. They wanted to find the Smith’s son—and kill him. The Smiths told the men that their son had not lived with them for many years. “They just kept getting defensive about my sign.” Thelma said. “And he’d bow up, when he’d tell me to go … he’d say I know you got him hid!”

Thelma and Robert Smith recount their bizarre experience with alleged ISIS members. (Photo courtesy of WEAR ABC 3)

After arguing for a while, the men eventually dropped the subject. But before they left, one of them asked about their tomatoes. “He asked my husband how much tomatoes were,” Thelma said. “He told them, ‘we put 6 in a bowl for $4’. And he said ‘I can get 40 pounds for $5!’ And that’s when the other guy said ‘lets go, let’s go!'”

The men hurried off, and the Smiths haven’t seen them since.

ISIS tomatoes
Various fruits and vegetables the Smiths have for sale. (WEAR ABC 3)

Milton Police are investigating the unusual incident, but say since the men weren’t carrying weapons, they didn’t commit any actual crime. They contacted the Smith’s son, who is reportedly “confused”, and doesn’t understand why an Islamic terrorist group would want him dead.

ISIS in California
Thelma Smith stands near the watermelons she sells. (WEAR ABC 3)

NOTICE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the incident occurred in California.


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