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European Journal

Spain: Farmers take on an epidemic of theft

From fruit and vegetables to farming equipment – on farms in Spain, everything that’s not nailed down is liable to be stolen. Many farmers have taken to sleeping on their fields to try to protect their property.

Watch video 05:58

Last year, nearly 20,000 thefts were reported on Spanish farms, and the thieves are growing ever bolder. Many work in gangs that are said to come from Eastern Europe, and they’ve built up criminal network to fence the stolen goods. Local farmers are at their wit’s end. The police generally don’t investigate smaller thefts and when they do step in, it’s often too late to catch the culprit. More and more farmers are now joining forces to patrol their land.