Tomato Heist! Gang hijacks truck Ladden with 2.5 tonnes of tomato

*Tomato Heist! Gang hijacks truck with 2.5 tonnes of produce*

A farmer near Bengaluru in Karnataka had to do away with 2.5 tonnes of his tomato produce after he failed to cough up the cash to compensate for a broken car mirror. The incident occurred when Mallesh, a farmer from Hiriyur in Chitradurga district, was transporting a load of tomatoes to Kolar in his truck.

At Chikkajala, he accidentally bumped into a car, breaking its mirror, police said. A gang of three who were travelling in the car then rounded him up and drove away with the truck laden with tomatoes after realising that he had no money to compensate for the damage to their car.

According to the police, the trio first abused the farmer and his driver and demanded hefty compensation. Two members of the gang then allegedly took control of the truck forcefully and eventually pushed the farmer and his driver out of the vehicle before speeding away with it. The third member also fled with the car they were originally travelling in.

The police said a case has been registered and efforts are underway to nab the culprits.

The incident comes amid spiralling tomato prices across the country which has disrupted household budgets and hit the middle class hard. Last week, a farmer from Belur in Hassan district of the state lodged a complaint stating that tomatoes worth Rs 2.7 lakh were stolen.

In another related incident from the state, a family of farmers in Kolart made a killing when they sold 2,000 boxes of tomatoes for Rs 38 lakh. Each 15-kg box, which went at Rs 800 at best, was sold for Rs 1,900 on Tuesday.

_[—Times Of India reported.]_