There’s been so much theft of agricultural products like walnuts in Tulare County that agricultural leaders hope to come up with a plan to prevent thieves from selling the commodities. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports.
Over the past couple years thieves have stolen whole truck loads of nuts in the Central Valley worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even after making some changes to nut selling regulations Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner Marilyn Kinoshita says people are stealing nuts right out of orchards during harvest.
“It’s still on the orchard floor," Kinoshita says. "There are far too many people who are are driving there cars, pulling into an orchard and helping themselves.”
These people try to sell the nuts to companies that buy them for cash. Sellers in the county already have to provide proof of ownership, but Kinoshita says more needs to be done. She’d like to see cash sales eliminated so there’ll be a paper trail if criminal actions are required. She says the Tulare County Supervisors will hopefully hear about the topic for a second time later this month and hopefully act upon industry recommendations.