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California avocados are a deliciously tempting fruit, and with tough economic times they also can be very tempting to thieves. Aiming to minimize the threat of theft, the California Avocado Commission (CAC) will increase amounts for its avocado anti- theft program, with a maximum reward of $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in a felony case.
“CAC identified avocado theft as an important issue and adopted its Anti-Theft Reward Program in 1990,” said Tom Bellamore, president of CAC, who added that “it is now time to increase the monetary rewards of the program to encourage individuals to step forward and provide information leading to the arrest, recovery and conviction of persons involved in California avocado theft.”
Under California’s penal code section 487b, avocado theft is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. CAC’s new anti-theft reward amounts start at $250 for an infraction, and include rewards for arrest and/or recovery as well as for convictions. More information on the program is available here.
In addition to the increased reward amounts, the CAC also set up an Avocado Theft Reporting Hotline. The purpose of the hotline is to collect information regarding recent theft incidents and provide this information to local law enforcement agencies. CAC hopes that better documentation of the extent of avocado theft will encourage increased patrolling for agricultural theft. The hotline can be reached by calling (949) 754-0733 or via email at AvoTheft@avocado.org. Informants should provide their name, phone number, address or intersection where the theft occurred, date of theft, pounds of fruit stolen and any other items taken or vandalized.
Created in 1978, the California Avocado Commission strives to increase demand for California avocados through advertising, promotion and public relations, and engages in related industry activities that benefit the state’s nearly 5,000 avocado growers. The California Avocado Commission serves as the official information source for California avocados and the California avocado industry.
For more information, visit CaliforniaAvocado.com.