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Thieves target ginseng root in Scarborough business break-ins

Last Updated May 6, 2015 at 7:29 pm EDT

It’s nothing new for thieves to seek out loot — but in this case, they’re after root.

Police say at least five Scarborough businesses have been broken into since November and in each instance quantities of ginger root have been stolen.

The latest incident took place overnight Monday on Silver Star Boulevard, near Midland and McNicoll avenues.

Locally, stores sell ginseng for hundreds of dollars a pound. Toronto police tell CityNews that it sells for four to five times that price in China.

“There is a shortage, is my understanding, so the value is skyrocketed, particularly in China,” said Det. Sgt. Gerry Heany.

Around $100,000 of the root was lifted in one robbery, and police say all five heists have occurred between 1 and 5 a.m.

Police have not released any suspect information, but are advising businesses to remain vigilant.

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