Fruit Crate Snatchers Nabbed

Tuesday, April 3, 2012
By Martin Myall

About a month ago we ran an article on how tens of thousands of plastic fruit crates had disappeared from outside plastic greenhouses – the mystery has been solved. Five people have been arrested over the theft of over 40,000 fruit crates.

According to the Guardia Civil, two locals from Dúrcal stole the fruit crates from the greenhouses down on the coast and sold them at one euro a piece to three different businessmen for recycling. The name of the police operation was pretty fitting: Caja 507. Who says that the Guardia Civil don’t have a sense of humour?

Two of the ‘receivers’ of the stolen crates are Granada-based businessmen and the other is based in Almería. These three men either sold them for shredding down to be recycled, or simply sold them in their original state, depending on what markings if any they had on them.

Our two villains from Dúrcal, aged 38 and 22, beavered away, industriously, during most of 2011 and the first months of this year and according to their own confessed calculations, snatched between 40,000 and 60,000 crates.

Such was the alarm amongst farmers that some took to taking their precious crates home with them at night, knowing that to leave them at the greenhouses would condemn them to certain ‘crate-napping.’ Yes, the Devious Duo from Dúrcal ranged from La Herradura to El Ejido, night after night. Each morning the crates were herded out into the waiting arms of two recycling companies; one in Granada and one in Almeria, or to the third man, also based in Granada, who sold them on for reuse.

The last night of operation took place on the 6th of March in the El Cerrajón area of Lobres where 130 fruit crates were loaded, screaming, into the back of a large van, which was when they ran right into the gleeful arms of the Guardia Civil – the relief in the back of the van was no doubt immense.

The two culprits admitted before the police and in the company of their lawyer that not only were they responsible for this ‘raid,’ but were also responsible for similar disappearances in Málaga, Granada and Almería, which was jolly decent of them. They also just happened to mention who they were selling them to.

The Guardia raided the warehouses of the suspected dealers and recuperated 2,200 grateful crates, with the markings of agricultural co-operatives down on the coast. These gentlemen admitted in turn that they had received the fateful crates from the Dúrcal boys.

Who knows, perhaps Hope has been re-born in the souls of your particular plastic crates, dear Readers – stashed at the back of your garage, full of tools or books – that they they might also, one day, return in tearful reunion to the plastic greenhouses of their youth…

(News: Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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