Avocado growers plagued by crop theft

There are two kinds of avocado growers: those who have had a theft, and those who will have a theft.

From the North County Times:

There are two kinds of avocado growers in the region: those who have had a theft, and those who will have a theft.

So said Eric Larson, executive director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau, during a community forum last month in Fallbrook. The adage was grounded in the common experience of local avocado growers, many of whom have accepted fruit theft as a cost of doing business, an unjust expense over which they have little control and almost no recourse.

"It happens all the time," said Enola Price, a Temecula-based avocado grower with groves in North County, "All. The. Time."

You wouldn't know it by looking at reports of avocado theft ---- the San Diego County Sheriff's Department received 22 in 2011 and 10 the previous year. Authorities said they suspect the majority of crimes go unreported.

Like many other growers, Price said she didn't see a point in reporting the crimes once the thieves have left the grove. A colleague of Price's went to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department's substation in Valley Center to report a recent theft, but all the deputies were out of the office handling calls, so he gave up.

"It's so far after the fact, I know there's no recourse," Price said. "I know they're not going to catch who took it."

For more, see: CRIME: Avocado theft a tough crime to fight, authorities say

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