Bermuda: Farmers experience ‘rampant’ theft of crops

Farmers all over the island of Bermuda have been left counting the cost after experiencing rampant thefts from their fields. These take place during the day as well as under cover of darkness. Police are investigating a string of thefts and have warned the public to be on guard if approached by anyone selling produce who is not a known farmer or representing a farmer, as the items may be stolen.

Rowland Hill Jr., the owner of J&J Produce in Warwick, said farmers believed that their crops were vanishing into a hidden market. “Nothing is sacred at this point,” said Hill, whose gardens have been raided repeatedly. “The problem is, we can’t even find where they’re selling this off. What they’re stealing can’t be going into homes but a market. I think it’s organised – they take an order and go get it. It’s become part of life, part of doing business in Bermuda in the farming industry. It’s been bad for a long time. But it’s really bad right now.”

Broccoli was among items taken from J&J, which Hill said was vulnerable because it operated out of plots in government-owned parks that are “really hit hard.” He said security cameras seldom yielded images of value to police. Carrots are frequently stolen, and Hill estimated he lost the equivalent of “six or seven bags of sweet potatoes every five days.” Hill said private gardens also made easy targets. “I know a family with an avocado pear tree in the yard of their home who came out in the morning and found 200 to 300 of them stolen right off the tree.”


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