“Pesticide theft is on the rise in Ventura County California, where the purloined poisons are being resold on the black market,” stated a recent article by The Associated Press (AP).
Approximately “$200,000 worth of pesticides stolen from Seaboard Produce Co. late last month was the latest in a string of such thefts,” the article stated. According to the article, some growers are being targeted by these thieves “who steal expensive pesticides and fungicides that can cost hundreds of dollars per gallon.” According to the local sheriff’s department’s agricultural crimes unit, there have been at least four major burglaries of pesticides and fungicides in the first part of 2004.
According to the AP, “The (pesticides) are being stolen and sold possibly in other areas of the state. Or they could be going to Mexico,” Detective Don Jennings of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department agricultural crimes unit said. “We don't know where they are being taken or the price they're being sold at. We have to find the chemicals, and we’ve just had no luck yet.”
At this point the county is speculating that the thieves are in it for the money since chemicals can be so expensive. Though this may not have happened to any growers that you know yet, make sure that all of your chemicals are locked up and stored away in a safe place.