'Stolen avocados could be dangerous', warning in wake of fruit crimewave

'Stolen avocados could be dangerous to eat', as avocado crime is on the rise

New Zealand's avocado shortage, added to high demand, has led to crime

Thursday, June 16, 2016

As a shortage of avocados causes a crime wave in New Zealand, Newstalk ZB's Natasha Jojoa-Burling says stolen fruit could be dangerous.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been almost 40 large-scale avocado thefts. They're selling for around £2 to £3 each on the black market.

Jojoa-Burling explains how the criminals are operating.

"They're going in the dead of night with their duvet covers and blankets, and they're breaking the avocados from the trees and they're selling them cut price," she told Jonny Gould and Ash.

"[A man] came across some avocado thieves in the orchard when he was out spraying at about 9pm at night. This guy wasn't even afraid, he just kind of backed off, later on they found 60 to 70 avocados in a duvet cover.

"They even installed an electric fence. But someone stole the electric fence unit." 

And a police officer in New Zealand is warning of the dangers of eating the snaffled goods, adds Jojoa-Burling.

"Stolen avocados could be dangerous to eat. Apparently they're unripe, have been sprayed recently, and carry toxins on the skin."