The frequent theft of fruit and vegetable products taking place in the past few days in Lorca, especially in the La Hoya district, has led producers in the area to organize night patrols between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. in order to monitor the farms.
Some of the growers affected have suffered significant economic losses. It is the case of José Ruiz, who believes that 30,000 kilos of watermelons have been stolen in recent weeks from his farm in La Hoya, causing losses worth 8,000 Euro. José María Martínez, another producer affected by the theft, says that the thieves have taken 20,000 kilos of watermelons and melons worth around 5,000 Euro. "We are tired. There is theft every year, but this time there is much more than usual."
"I understand that there cannot be a police agent in every farm, but we can't just sit and do nothing," says José María. "It is not only the theft that concern us, but also that the thieves trample on the stems to pick the fruits and they are damaging the plantations. Moreover, the watermelons have not yet reached their optimal point of ripeness and won't be good for the market," says the producer.