Demand for avocados in New Zealand has caused prices to skyrocket, attracting the attention of organized crime rings.
Earlier this month, police reported an avocado "crime wave" on the North Island, and in April, a series of brazen daylight thefts—one of them committed by an elderly man on a mobility scooter—were reported.
The huge demand has resulted in an upswing in production of avocado trees at the country's two major nurseries, and the opening of three new nurseries. Avocado production in New Zealand has risen from about 30,000 trees five years ago to over 200,000 trees this year, The Australian reports.
A very light crop, coupled with the fact that the fruit is out of season, has seen prices explode. The average cost of the fruit is $5 NZED (equivalent to $3.31 USD).
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