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Massive strawberry heist ahead of Midsummer

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Massive strawberry heist ahead of Midsummer
Not the strawberries in question. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT
14:49 CEST+02:00
Thousands of boxes of strawberries have been stolen from a farm in Vinslöv, in Skåne, southern Sweden, with the search for the thieves gripping Swedes planning to feast on the fruits over Midsummer.
The berries were taken from Vinslöv in the early hours of the morning, just a day before Swedes celebrate Midsummer, when the sweet fruits typically take centre stage.
 
News of the heist quickly went viral, with reports of the theft among the most read in Sweden by Thursday afternoon.
 
Swedes measure their strawberries in litres, and it is understood that 3,420 litres of the fruits were taken, estimated to equate to thousands of boxes.
 
By Thursday afternoon, police confirmed that they had found the thieves' getaway van on Highway 23 in Hässleholm, around 90km north of Malmö.
 
But officers said that most of the van's contents had disappeared.
 
"Yes, we have found the vehicle, but unfortunately it was completely empty except for about 20 single strawberries," Jimmy Modin, a spokesperson for the region's police force, told news agency TT.
 
 
Sweden is currently experiencing a strawberry shortage, with reports that there might not be enough of the red treats to go round.
 
“It's a disaster for the Swedish people and also for strawberry growers,” Anders Hagberg from the Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF) told Swedish news agency TT last week.
 
“The farmers have done what they can. This is their livelihood and they do not want to fail.”
 
Hagberg said that the disappointing yield was down to the cold weather this spring.
 
“In order to produce enough strawberries in time after the cold spring, the temperature would have had to have been at 25 degrees during the day and 15 degrees at night for the past two weeks,” said Hagberg. “And it has been far from that.”
 
Sweden's weather was much chillier than average last month, with temperatures edging above 20C on just three days in Skåne in the south of the country. Kristianstad recorded a high of 21.4C, its lowest peak temperature in May since 1962.
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