• Orchardists are advised to be vigilant, to install security systems where appropriate, and to report any suspicious activity to the police.
They are not, however, advised to confront thieves in the act. Safety comes first.
Police are educating buyers that avocados with no stalks or long stalks are likely to be stolen, and asking them to be aware of where they are purchasing their fruit.
• Avocado thieves can be charged with burglary, which
has a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.
If a shop owner has knowingly purchased stolen avocados, they could be charged with receiving stolen property, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years’ in prison.