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New Zealanders really like their avocados.
The fleshy, green fruit is the catalyst for almost 40 reported large-scale thefts from avocado orchards on New Zealand's north island, according to The Guardian. In some cases, as many as 350 avocados have been stolen from growers.
A surge in local and international demand for avocados has caused prices to spike and prompted opportunistic thieves to try to make a profit from the stolen fruit.
"These stolen avocados can carry risks," Sgt. Aaron Fraser of Waihi told The Guardian. "They are unripe, some have been sprayed recently and they may still carry toxins on the skin. But with the prices so high at the moment, the potential for profit is a strong inducement for certain individuals."
The crime wave should dissipate soon, however. Jen Scoular, New Zealand Avocado CEO, told The Guardian that a large harvest of locally grown avocados are slated to hit the market soon, likely deterring thieves as prices for the fruit decline with the increased supply.