It's a crime so unusual that any motive seems almost inconceivable.
Authorities in Australia on Thursday said they had four confirmed incidents of "contaminated strawberries" after an individual reportedly discovered a needle inside a berry after taking a bite.
A Coles customer found pins sticking from the sabotaged fruit after purchasing the punnet from a supermarket in Engadine in Sydney's south on Friday.
The Berry Obsession, Berry Licious, Donnybrook Berries, Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries and Oasis brands of strawberries are believed to be affected, according to the police, who said the contaminated fruit appeared to have originated at a Queensland-based supplier.
One of the cases involved a man who had eaten a strawberry with a needle inside.
The strawberry industry in the state of Queensland is worth around US$93 million (NZ$142 million) annually, and the government there announced this week that it would offer a reward of A$100,000 for anyone with information about the culprit behind the odd attack on strawberries. The broadcaster also said wholesale prices have dropped by around half.
"We really need the WA public to support local growers, because if they don't buy our strawberries, many may not be able to put in crops next year", he said. A number of grocers have removed the berries from their shelves.
"We've got to look at this as a whole, it's a very, very broad picture and we can't speculate in any way, shape or form", Queensland Acting Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence told reporters on Friday.
Jennifer Rowling of the Queensland Strawberry Growers' Association said she believed the strawberries had been "interfered with".
"How could any right-minded person want to put a baby or a child or anybody's health at risk by doing such a awful act?" she asked.