Say What Now? Workers Stole More Than $300,000 Worth of Avocados
Three avocado-loving workers have been arrested in the theft of up to $300,000 worth of avocados from their employer.
Police are calling the heist “grand theft avocado.”
Thirty-eight-year-old Joseph Valenzuela, 28-year-old Carlos Chavez and 30-year-old Rahim Leblanc were each charged with grand theft of fruit and were being held in jail on bail of $250,000 each. They were arrested Wednesday.
It was unclear whether they have attorneys.
Detectives began investigating the suspects in May after receiving a tip that they were conducting unauthorized cash sales of avocados from a ripening facility in the city of Oxnard owned by the Mission Produce company.
The company estimated the avocado loss at about $300,000, the sheriff’s office said.
“We take these kinds of thefts seriously. It’s a big product here and in California,” sheriff’s Sgt. John Franchi told the Los Angeles Times. “Everybody loves avocados.”
“We take these kinds of thefts seriously,” Franchi told the Times. “It’s a big product here and in California.”