Roca unit still fights to prevent fruit and vegetable thefts in Spain

Specialist police units have been set up in Antequera, Coín and Vélez-Malaga to tackle an ever-increasing problem for farmers. In the Antequera, Guadalhorce and Axarquía areas, thefts are, unfortunately, common. Nevertheless, it has been harder for thieves to get away with it since 2013, when the Guardia Civil set up its special Roca unit.

“People who were growing mangos and avocados were particularly concerned about the thefts because they were losing so much money,” said the head of the team based in the Axarquía. He also said that, as well as keeping an eye on the farms, the unit takes action against anyone who receives the stolen products because that is also an offence.

“The main problem is with plantations that aren’t fenced because they are most attractive to thieves,” he said. Sometimes the situation is difficult to prove because the thieves store the stolen products on land which belongs to other farmers.

The problem of fruit and vegetable thefts was alleviated by the lockdown and mobility restrictions in 2020 but they resumed again in 2021. The Guardia Civil encourages anyone who suffers a theft of this type to report it, no matter how minor the incident.


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