Eight suspects of agricultural theft were arrested by the Border Police across sites in the south of the country this past weekend.
The suspects were caught red-handed at three different locations while attempting to load stolen produce onto their vehicles.
At the first site near the settlement of Urim, five suspects were caught in a potato field while they were loading stolen potatoes into their vehicle.
The suspects were aged 30-50 and were residents of Rahat and Tel-Sheva.
At the second site near the settlement of Tze'elim, three suspects were caught while loading their vehicle with tangerines, potatoes, carrots and other agricultural produce.
At the third site near the settlement of Orim, three suspects were caught again loading stolen potatoes into a vehicle.
All arrested suspects were detained for further questioning at the Border Police South's central unit.
The operation was carried out by officers and volunteers of the Border Police southern command's rural assault unit and settlement branch.
Criminals have caused millions of dollars in damages to Israeli farmers over the course of 2022, preliminary data from the HaShomer HaChadash (The New Guard) organization shows.
Overall, there were 186 agricultural crimes reported by HaShomer HaChadash last year. Of those, 108 filed an official complaint with the police. In total, the incidents account for an estimated $3.78 million in damages.
Most of the crimes took place in the Negev, Galilee and Jordan Valley regions.
MAYA MARGIT/THE MEDIA LINE contributed to this story.