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Armed guards watch over Indian vegetable market after tomato heist, amid price rise fears

Click to play video 'India deploys armed guards after 300-kilogram tomato heist' India deploys armed guards after 300-kilogram tomato heist
WATCH: After the theft of more than 300 kilograms of tomatoes from a vegetable market in Mumbai, India, armed guards were sent to protect the produce in a market in another city on Saturday. – Jul 22, 2017

Every Saturday, trucks roll up to the vegetable markets in the central Indian city of Indore, and cartons of tomatoes and other vegetables are unloaded and sold to customers.

But the unremarkable routine was given a distinctly tense touch this Saturday when armed guards were seen watching over the bustling tomato trade.

Indian media reported that the unusual sight was prompted by the theft of some 300 kilograms of tomatoes from a vegetable market in Mumbai, which is nearly 600 kilometres away from Indore, on Thursday, July 20.

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Around 70,000 rupees of tomatoes (around C$1,360) were thieved, according to The Indian Express.

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The brazen heist sent ripples of anxiety through vegetable markets in India, where the price of tomatoes, a key staple in Indian cuisine, has spiked six-fold in just two months, The Hindu reports.

Supply struggles are blamed for the gigantic price rises, which are threatening to make the tomato prohibitively expensive and beyond the pocketbook of the common Indian.