The Nation: Hot Avocados

Although what the thieves are after has neither hoofs nor horns, to the victimized growers the crime is as dastardly as robbing a rancher of his cattle. Nestled among leathery leaves in unfenced orchards, avocados are an easy target for what Southern Californians call rustlers. And at current prices (about 50¢ apiece in most supermarkets, up to nearly $1 in some areas) the green fruit is an apparently irresistible one. Midway through this season's harvest, rustlers have already ripped off more than a million dollars' worth of Southern California's $38 million crop, and police estimate that one out of every...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!