THREE avocado rustlers have been caught red-handed stealing 150 kilos of the fruit from a Costa Blanca farm.
It was part of an overall haul of three tons taken by the fruit robbers.
The Guardia Civil stepped up rural patrols after a sharp spike in fruit thefts in 2021.
They caught the Spanish trio ‘in the act’ as they picked avocados from trees at a La Nucia farm.
The stolen avocados were seized by the Guardia as well as the van that was going to transport them away.
Inquiries revealed that a man and two women had helped themselves to three tons of the fruit from Marina Baixa farms, which were then sold at local markets.
A 46-year-old man ran the operation and has been arrested and charged with seven counts of theft and running a criminal gang.
His two female assistants are still being investigated.