Ask celebrities and they’ll likely tell you there’s a down side to being popular.


Some Florida tomato suppliers — who have been enjoying strong markets for their product — may be thinking the same thing.


Recent thefts of half a dozen truckloads of tomatoes in the Sunshine State allegedly involved drivers and groups of men acting like a trucking company. A load of cucumbers has been hijacked as well.


The audacity of the crimes stands out. It will be interesting to find out who has been accepting the stolen loads and if they were aware of their illicit source.


Buyers and truck brokers are responsible for loads once trucks leave the packinghouse and are the ones losing the money, but given the tough economy and competition for business, shippers share their concerns.


Some shippers are padlocking packinghouses in response, augmenting their security measures — a wise move but also one that adds costs.


With skyrocketing tomato markets, Florida’s industry might have felt like they were getting payback after a string of woes, including losing millions after being falsely linked to a salmonella outbreak in 2008, freezes, soft markets and an ongoing dumping dispute with Mexico.


The Miami-Dade Police Department’s Cargo Crimes and the Palmetto Police Department are investigating the thefts.


The sooner they crack the case, the better for suppliers, haulers and buyers.


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