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Avocado thief banned from having more than 10 at a time

October 21, 2011 |  9:16 am


An admitted avocado thief in north San Diego County has been ordered to stay away from any groves bearing the popular fruit and prohibited from possessing more than 10 avocados at a time.

The unusual sentence was handed down after Barron Stein admitted stealing 600 to 1,000 pounds of avocados from a grove in Bonsall, not far from Fallbrook in an agricultural area of the county, the North County Times reported.

A former tow-truck driver who’d been out of work for more than a year, Stein apparently took the avocados out of desperation to support his family, the newspaper said.

There was no clear word on what he had intended to do with the stolen harvest.

Stein was tripped up when a video camera at Eco Farms in Bonsall caught him swiping the avocados, the newspaper reported.

By agreeing to stay away from any and all avocado groves and refraining from possessing more than 10 avocados at a time, Stein will not serve any time behind bars. The terms of his probation last for three years.

In handing down his 10-avocado decree, the judge did not distinguish between the 5-ounce Fuerte or the nearly 19-ounce Lamb Hass, both popular varieties in the area. Either way, it would still allow for a generous serving of guacamole.


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Photo: The popular Hass avocado. Credit: David Karp.