Sunday, October 08, 2006


Ok, it does sound kind of amusing, but when you start adding up the cost, it gets serious! Sometimes, thieves feel like a nut
Farm officials estimate the losses from all the robberies at $1.5 million, far and away the costliest current case of crop larceny in a state where avocado bandits, cattle rustlers and even hay-jackers are regularly on the loose. "Dollar-wise, it's a very significant theft," said Cliff Emery, an agricultural crime specialist for the Action Project, a rural anticrime task force started by the Tulare County District Attorney's Office in 1999. "For growers, it could be a very large portion of the overall profit margin for the year." Driving the crime wave is the surging popularity of almonds, which are high in vitamin E and antioxidants and have been linked by some medical studies to lower cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of heart disease. Over the last decade, that reputation has helped push almonds into the top five of California crops, with $2.2 billion in sales in the 2004-05 season. This fall, farmers are expecting a harvest of more than 1 billion pounds, to be sold wholesale at about $3 a pound and shipped around the world.
Sadly, we, the consumers end up paying higher prices because of the greed of these thieves.