With avocado’s not being in season, prices are skyrocketing at supermarkets across the country and one Bay of Plenty couple are finding out the hard way how people are getting around the price barrier.
Lyn Pratt and longtime partner Neville Cooper discovered on Sunday, June 9 an estimated 1000 avocados were stolen from their Whakamarama orchard on State Highway 2.
Lyn says she believes a group of people trespassed on to their property and stole many avocados, picking them off the trees.
“They’ve came up over a big deer fence and through some electric fencing and went passed some cameras on Saturday night.
“We got about three or four lots stolen last year, but this is the first lot for this year.
Lyn says there is a sale for them as they are so expensive in supermarkets, however the stolen avocados have been prematurely picked.
“Ours aren’t normally ready until September.
“There always seems to be someone that will buy stolen fruit.
When asked if she is frustrated, she says frustrated is an understatement.
“They left behind a couple of bags, an onion bag full and another carry-on bag, and there was quite a few avocados.
“We don’t know how many were stolen, Neville thinks around 1000.
“We have cameras there with no good photos on them, but it appears they were in the orchard with the two fuzzy photos we’ve got, for at least two hours.”
Neville went to the orchard on the morning of Sunday, June 10, to find many of the forbidden fruit picked and stolen.
“It’s horrible, I don’t know what they do with the money,” Lyn says.
“The police have come out, and they know us on a personal basis now after having three or four lots stolen last year.”
Lyn says she and Neville don’t know what else they have to do to ensure the security of their orchard.
“We’ve got cameras, we’ve got an electric fence, we are trying just how to work out how the photos can come through to my phone, we’ve got two metre high deer fences, and we’ve got a locked gate.
“We can’t really do anymore. I don’t know.
“You wouldn’t know until you caught them.”