`String of Thefts Rattle Olive Farms in Spain - Olive Oil Times

String of Thefts Rattle Olive Farms in Spain

Dec. 11, 2015
Gaynor Selby

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Farmers are fight­ing back in Spain after a spate of rob­beries in olive orchards which have seen hun­dreds of tons of green gold’ stolen over the last few weeks.

Police believe orga­nized gangs are specif­i­cally tar­get­ing orchards in the Extremadura region of Spain because a low crop sea­son has pushed up prices for olives and olive oil.

Farmers have mounted night sur­veil­lance patrols with the goal of inform­ing law enforce­ment of any irreg­u­lar­i­ties.- Extremadura Asaja

There have been reports of vehi­cles crash­ing through bar­ri­ers and fenc­ing around orchards to get onto land, cut­ting down trees, loot­ing what­ever they can find, before escap­ing with thou­sands of euros worth of olives.

Spanish farm­ing orga­ni­za­tion APAG Extremadura Asaja said there has been a wave of rob­beries in the coun­try­side and farm­ers are help­less because of the loot­ing.

During one recent rob­bery, a farm in the town of Navalvillar de Pela was tar­geted and approx­i­mately 30,000 kilos (66,000 Lbs.) of olives were stolen and unimag­in­able dam­age’ was caused to the plan­ta­tion.


Now, farm­ers are car­ry­ing out night-time patrols in some areas and are call­ing for extra sup­port from the local author­i­ties and Guardia Civil, the Spanish police.

Because of this sit­u­a­tion of help­less­ness and inse­cu­rity suf­fered by farm­ers in the area, they have mounted night sur­veil­lance patrols with the main goal of com­mu­ni­cat­ing and inform­ing law enforce­ment of any irreg­u­lar­i­ties,” said an Extremadura Asaja spokesper­son in a press release.

Thieves are sell­ing olives and get­ting huge prof­its at the expense of farm­ers,” he added.

In another inci­dent, Spanish police stopped and searched a sus­pi­cious vehi­cle in the Villafranca de los Barros area where they dis­cov­ered it was loaded with olives with an esti­mated value of around €4,500 ($4,937). The dri­ver was detained and arrested.

It has also been reported that because low stocks and higher prices in Spain, the thieves are also tar­get­ing stores of oil in a smash and grab” style rob­bery where they break into ware­houses and drain oil from stocks into their own con­tain­ers before escap­ing.

  • The Local

  • Apag Extramadura

  • Extramadura

  • The Times UK
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