Keep an eye on your avos, Bay of Plenty cops warn

There's been a sinister twist in the rising price of avocados. Millennials can now eat them to their hearts' content without sacrificing their home ownership prospects - if they're willing to cross to the dark side.

A spate of avocado thefts has ravaged orchards in the Bay of Plenty, ranging from Tauranga to Katikati, over the past few months.

It coincides with the peak prices for avocados at stores.

Bay of Plenty police say the avos are being on-sold by stall and store owners "turning a blind eye" to their fruits' origins.

It's prompted police to visit those selling avocados to make sure they know the consequences of any illicit actions.

"We have been educating store owners that avocados with no stalks or long stalks are likely to be stolen, and asking them to be aware of where they are purchasing their fruit from," police said in a statement.

Avo thieves can be charged with burglary, their escapades costing them up to 10 years in prison.

Any store owners who knowingly buy stolen avocadoes can be charged with receiving stolen property, facing up to seven years in prison.

"I urge you to ask the hard questions. If you don't purchase from doubtful sources, these commercial thefts will stop," Sgt Trevor Brown said.

"Support orchardists, your fellow business owners, and don't purchase these stolen fruit. If we work together, we can combat this issue."

In June, avocados rocketed up to $7.50 each.

Newshub.