Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Not just another nut case

At first it looked like a tough nut to crack.

For the farmers who had shelled out a lot of money to produce their crops, they were frustrated when thieves stole large caches of tens of thousands of pounds of almonds and walnuts in California. Millions of dollars were shaken from the profits of these producers.

But police have pried open this mysterious case.

As a recent Capital Press story explained, mysterious activity at a warehouse led police to find suspicious business rolling along: apparently, almonds were being repackaged in unmarked boxes for possible shipment or resale.

Police forces from three counties helped to make the arrests of the alleged crooks tied to the stolen nuts.

One of the detectives was thankful for the additional manpower. “ We have two rural crime detectives, so it was nice to have a Rural Crime Task Force in place to get 12 or 13 detectives to respond on a Sunday evening. It shows the kind of intensity behind this investigation for them to drop everything on a Sunday night and go to Sacramento,” said Stanislaus County sheriff's deputy Royjindar Singh.

Although the story didn’t say it, probably the alleged thieves and the police had a similar line about dropping everything on a Sunday night, whether it was the police dropping other work or family activities or the suspects dropping the stolen goodies at the warehouse.

“Ah, nuts,” might have been an appropriate line.

On a more serious note, the two people arrested have been charged with stealing $1.7 million worth of nuts in the last year.

The stolen nuts that were dug up so far in the case are worth about $400,000, so police will continue to scurry around looking for more evidence of the thieves’ trail, a mix of thefts from different processors in several counties.

Anyone who continues to squirrel away any evidence or can help lead police to net any more arrests can contact the Rural Crime Prevention Task Force in Tulare County.

Capital Press story

Technorati tags:

No comments:

Ag in the West social media watch

Capital Press videos on YouTube

Our most popular videos