POLICE HAVE issued an alert for consumers and wholesalers to be on alert after a crop cabbages which had been recently sprayed with insecticide was stolen from a Maraval farmer on Monday.
The theft came days after Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries Kazim Hosein pleaded with criminals to stop stealing farmers' produce.
In a media release on Wednesday, police said they are investigating the theft of $10,000 worth of cabbage from a Maraval farmer.
It said the 29-year-old farmer reported to police on Monday he sprayed his cabbage with an insecticide and later realised some of them had been stolen.
This is not the first time police have issued a warning about purchasing produce that is not fit for consumption.
In 2011, a farmer was questioned by police after he reported that his 2,000 avocados were deliberately poisoned before they were stolen in Tunapuna.
The man said then that he injected the fruit with insecticide to ward off thieves.
Last week, in response to questions raised in the Senate about praedial larceny, Hosein advised thieves to plant their own crops and rear their own animals.
"I am appealing to those intent on committing illegal activities to leave the farmers' stock alone. Go mind your animals and plant your own."
As a result of increased reports of praedial larceny, Hosein said the Praedial Larceny Squad will be given 40 extra officers and the unit will be given three new vehicles.
"Due to heightened illegal activity impacting our farmers, the Praedial Larceny Squad has been utilising its connections with the regular and municipal police and the Estate Management and Business Development Company Ltd police to respond and assist."