720 kg tomatoes worth Rs 60,000 gone in 180 minutes!

Aug 03, 2014, 07:00 IST | Shirish Vaktania

A gang of thieves stole tomatoes in the wee hours of Saturday from a wholesaler in Mira Road and made some quick moolah by selling off the booty for Rs 600 per crate

In the last few weeks, tomatoes have become as precious as gold. The humble vegetable, which once came at an affordable rate, is now available at a steep price of R80 per kg. While this has compelled the common man to use it sparingly in their food, it has given thieves a new idea wherein they can steal it from wholesalers and sell it off to retailers, making a quick moolah in the bargain.

Ashok Kumar Prajapati
The victim,  wholesaler Ashok Kumar Prajapati, has incurred huge losses

A similar incident took place in the wee hours of Saturday morning when a gang of five stole 720 kg of tomatoes from a wholesaler, Ashok Kumar Prajapati, at the Kashi Gaon market in Mira Road. The robbers allegedly came with an empty truck, loaded all the tomatoes in it and fled within a few seconds. According to the Kashi Mira police, they later sold the booty at Ravalpada market in Dahisar East.

The Kashi Gaon market
The Kashi Gaon market at Mira Road from where the tomatoes were stolen on Saturday morning

Prajapati, a resident of Kashi Gaon at Mira road who has been supplying vegetables to retailers since 12 years, is still reeling from the shock. He told sunday mid-day, “When I reached my shop yesterday morning I saw that all the tomatoes had been stolen. I looked for them everywhere but couldn’t find them. I had purchased the tomatoes from Narayangaon in Pune at an affordable rate. I’ve incurred a huge loss and registered a complaint with the Kashimira police at Mira Road.”

Anil Kadam, senior police inspector of Kashimira police station, said, “The incident occurred at 1 am. There were 24 crates in total. Each crate had 30 kg of tomatoes. Around R60,000 worth tomatoes were stolen from the spot. After the robbery, according to local vendors of the Dahisar market the gang of five sold each crate for R500-600. We are investigating the matter and plan to nab the accused soon.”

Price of tomatoes
One kg of tomato costs Rs 80 in the retail market while the wholesale rate is Rs 65

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