A 2,000-KILO haul of unripe avocados worth €3,000 disappeared overnight from a Velez-Malaga plantation.
Their unreadiness should help track down the thieves, believes grower Fabrice Gilbert, as it is too early for the Spanish crop and the only avocados currently available are from Chile or Israel.
It was not the first time that Fabrice’s trees were stripped by thieves and after losing 60,000 kilos in 2009 he himself kept watch over his Valle Niza plantation as his crop ripened the following year. Despite his vigilance, however, thieves still made off with 30,000 kilos.
It would have required at least six men working through the night to pick and load the stolen avocados, Fabrice said. The only consolation for his financial loss was knowing that although the fruit looked a good size, the avocados were still green and would not sell.
Like other Velez growers, Fabrice complained that security was lax and it was impossible to prevent this type of theft. Would-be thieves preyed on likely targets despite an increased police presence following complaints from the Asaja union who had also called for checks on the sale of stolen produce.