[3 August/The Country]

Three people were arrested due to avocados being stolen from orchards in the Bay of Plenty. Police alleged that one was the organised receiver who purchased the fruit from the two who stole it. A 63 year old was due to appear in court later this month. Two others from Tauranga would appear in court next month in relation to the matter. A 23 year old man and 27 year old woman faced burglary charges. Police urged avocado buyers to ensure they know the source of the fruit and to keep records of their purchases. Avocado growers said thefts were on the rise and they were targeted in order to supply a black market. New Zealand Avocado Chief Executive, Jen Scoular, added the association was aware thefts were increasing. This should come as a warning to orchardists to be vigilant