22 Aug 2017

Avocado thieves sell stolen fruit on Facebook

10:14 am on 22 August 2017

Avocado growers are warning store owners not to accept stolen fruit, as thieves take to social media and sell them on Facebook.

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If the price of an avocado might seem too good to be true, it may be stolen fruit. Photo: 123rf.com

Police say people have been pinching avocados from orchards and shops in eastern parts of the North Island and selling them on social media.

They have warned that those responsible could be charged with burglary and face up to 10 years in prison - and people who knowingly buy the stolen avocados could also be locked behind bars.

NZ Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular told Morning Report the thefts were "devastating" for growers.

She said people should be careful selling avocados.

"You don't get $1 avocados and if someone comes in with a crate of avocados and says 'they're a dollar each', the storeowner can't assume other than the fact that they've come from a source that is not reputable."

Ms Scoular said police had been visiting fruit stores and warning them not to stock stolen avocados.

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