We have all been driving down the road and seen the fields being gleaned by ordinary people – taking advantage of the end of a harvest, helping themselves to left over crops. But as the economic situation bites a little bit harder, this gleaning has become more organised, with not just one or two items being taken for personal consumption, but large scale agricultural theft a regular occurrence. Most of the time, the thieves strike at night, the full moon a time of intense activity in the fields of the region, and although increasing numbers of agriculturalists are mounting their own patrols, few are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the culprits.
However, last Thursday a Roldán grower alerted the Policia Local who were out on patrol after witnessing the occupants of a van helping themselves to a couple of his melons: 1.220kgs to be exact! With blues and twos engaged, they “followed that car” – with the grower in hot pursuit. But it transpired that there wasn’t just the van, there was also another car involved, and after a hot pursuit, both were stopped between Roldán and Los Martínez del Puerto.
Inside the vehicles, police discovered 4 people from the Alicante area aged between 45 and 56 years old – and the melons. The estimated cost of the theft was in excess of 600€, and so constituted a criminal offense. Growers have always had a lot to put up with – combating the climate and now the economic down turn. At least this time a grower’s efforts to protect his crop have been rewarded and he has had his melons returned. The moral of this tale: Hands off my melons!
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