The Karnataka Police on Saturday arrested a couple from Tamil Nadu’s Vellore for allegedly hijacking a truck carrying tomatoes worth more Rs 2.5 lakh on July 8, reported PTI.

Bhaskar and his wife Sindhuja, along with their three associates had tried to rob a farmer driving the truck by accusing him of damaging their vehicle. However, after they realised that he did not have any money, they decided to hijack his truck carrying 2.5 tonnes of tomatoes.

They assaulted the farmer and pushed him out of the vehicle before driving away with the truck to Chennai, reported The Hindu. They sold the tomatoes in the market and shared the money. After selling the tomatoes, the accused persons escaped in another vehicle, which did not have a number plate, reported IANS.

Mallesh, the farmer from Hiriyur in Chitradurga district of Karnataka, had filed a police complaint, after which a special 20-member team was formed to track down the accused. The police team analysed over 200 CCTV camera footage to identify the couple. The police are on the lookout for their associates, identified as Rakesh, Kumar, and Mahesh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North division), Shivaprakash Devaraju told The Hindu.

In a similar case on July 4, a farmer in Karnataka’s Hassan district had alleged that tomatoes worth Rs 2.5 lakh were stolen from her farm, reported The Indian Express. The farmer had grown the tomatoes on two acres of land and was planning to transport the yield to the market.

“We incurred huge losses in bean harvest and had taken loans to grow tomatoes,” the farmer, Dharini had told reporters. “We had a good harvest and, incidentally, prices were also high.” Besides taking the 50-60 bags of tomatoes the thieves had destroyed the remaining standing crop.

A first information report was filed at Halebeedu police station. “We had heard about the theft of areca nut and other commercial crops but never heard that someone stole tomatoes,” an unidentified police official told reporters, The Indian Express reported. “This is the first time that such a case has been reported at our police station.”

At the time of the incident, tomato prices in Bengaluru ranged between Rs 100 and Rs 120 per kilogram, reported the newspaper

The prices of tomatoes have soared across the country in the last few weeks due to supply disruption caused by heavy rains in the country. In some places, they are being sold at Rs 250 per kilogram, according to PTI. Last month, the average rate of tomatoes in the country was Rs 23.61.