24 Sep 2010

Fruit believe to have been burgled for black market

7:03 pm on 24 September 2010

Burglars have stolen tonnes of fruit from packhouses in Northland - most likely for the black market in Auckland.

The latest raid saw 600kg of avocados taken from a chiller at Maungatapere, west of Whangarei, over the weekend.

NTL Fruitpackers owner Duane Wells thought that parking a truck in front of his chiller door would be enough to stop thieves. However, 600kg of top-grade avocadoes were somehow taken.

Mr Wells says 300kg of oil-grade avocados were stolen 10 days earlier, along with 300 crates.

It is not the only produce burglary in Northland - tomatoes and a tonne of mandarins have been taken from a packhouse at Kerikeri.

Sergeant Ross Laurie says the fruit may have been stolen to order and sent to Auckland.