Monday, June 19, 2017

Three Charged In Massive Millenial Grand Theft

From Modern Farmer:
Blame it on the millennials and their darned avocado toast addiction. Last week, three California men were arrested by Ventura County Sheriff's investigators and charged with grand theft of vegetables and fruit—grand theft avocado, you could say—for allegedly illegally selling more than $300,000 worth of the delicious fruit that’s seeing a huge surge in popularity.

The men—Rahim Leblanc, 30, and Carlos Chavez, 28, both of Oxnard; and Joseph Valenzuela, 38, of Santa Paula—were arrested for allegedly selling avocados stolen from Mission Produce, the company that employed them, according to the Associated Press

The three suspects worked at a Mission Produce-owned ripening facility in Ventura County and had been selling the avocados for months to unsuspecting buyers who thought they were purchasing the fruit from Mission Produce, say detectives.

Police were tipped off to the alleged activity in May and the investigation came to a head last week after several search warrants were served at the the ripening facility and the men’s homes, resulting in their arrests on Wednesday, the Ventura County Star reports. The men were being held in jail in lieu of $250,000 bail each.

Avocado prices are soaring due to increased consumer demand in the U.S. and abroad, especially in China, according to Bloomberg Markets“They are in demand. Everybody loves avocados,” Sgt. John Franchi of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office tells the LA Times....MORE
This is a developing situation both we and the Financial Times'  David Keohane have been monitoring closely,
At FT Alphaville:

May 5
Hipsters are after your avocados… and your cream cheese… and your vanilla… and your cauliflower.

April 4
Brooklyn has an avocado bar because of course it does. 

Nov. 2016
Kill the old, eat avocados.

Important note: Upon double checking that last link it appears that, despite the use of the 'Kill the Old' construction favored by homicidal ageist gerontophobes worldwide, the post is actually by-lined Kadhim Shubber, which makes me wonder if Mr Keohane wasn't called in for consultation.

And at Climateer Investing:

Opportunity: Avocado Shortage Fuels Crime Wave in New Zealand
“These stolen avocados can carry risks,” he said....
Los Angeles to Auckland flight time: 13 hours.

[We included a handy map for folks considering an avocado-running career]

Record prices for avocados spark strikes in Mexico and a crime wave in New Zealand
 "The great global avocado trade flow chart"

...Correction: An earlier version of this item incorrectly described all the avocados exported by the Netherlands as having been grown there.