(Photo: slgckgc/CC BY 2.0)

Last year was a bad year for avocado crops in New Zealand and around the world, and now the beloved green commodities are fetching far higher prices than normal in the island nation, around four to six New Zealand dollars ($2.80 to $4.20 U.S. dollars) each.

These prices are evidently high enough to produce a small avocado-theft crime wave in the country, according to the Guardian. There have been nearly 40 such thefts in the past six months, including at least one theft in which thieves made off with almost 350 avocados. Authorities think they are then sold at roadside stands for profit.

Avocado farmers, meanwhile, have been beefing up security against criminals who sneak into farms and haul dozens of avocados away at a time, adding lights and cameras, among other measures. But they may not have worry too much longer–this year’s avocado crop was huge, and should be reaching local markets soon, where it’s expected to drive prices down, the Guardian writes.

Demand for avocados in New Zealand, like in most everywhere in the world, has also been surging. But here’s some free advice: if you want an avocado, there’s no need to break the law. Just go the store.

Gastro Obscura covers the world’s most wondrous food and drink.
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