Avocado growers beware
The avocado thieving season has already started with a vengeance.
Gisborne grower, Terry Bailey, has owned his property near the city for less than a year and has just a few “giant” trees. But even that has been too tempting for local thieves.
“They came and scoped out our place at 9am in the morning but were spotted by a local police officer and took off,” he said.
“Then the next day, just after 5am, they came back equipped with things like picking baskets, plastic bags and a homemade picking tool.”
The thieves got onto the property – “our useless dog didn't do his job” – and set to work before the sound of falling fruit woke him. He and his partner rushed outside and yelled at the intruders who “took off like startled hares”.
They did manage to note the registration number of their vehicle but, as is too common in these cases, the number plates were stolen.
“We've got security lights, a sign and will put in a camera to let thieves know they are being watched and hopefully that will be enough of a deterrent to keep them away,” he said.
“But even that doesn't even take away the terrible feeling that someone is trying to get on your property. It’s really affected us and my partner is having trouble sleeping at night.”
Growers can't afford to be complacent about the prospect of thieves having a go, he believes.
“You’ve got to be proactive and protect yourselves.”