BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – A California pistachio company was conducting a routine audit when it noticed something suspicious: About 42,000 pounds of pistachios – nearly enough to fill a truck trailer were missing.
Officials of the company, Touchstone Pistachio, called the agricultural crimes unit of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. Within days, after checking surveillance footage, sheriff’s deputies arrested 34-year-old Alberto Montemayor, who had been working for Montemayor Trucking, a family-owned business that the pistachio company had hired this year as a contractor, according to the authorities.
Montemayor was charged with grand theft, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Sgt. Joseph England, who leads the agricultural crimes unit, said it was not uncommon for people to steal nuts in many of California’s rural counties, where farming drives the local economies. The product isn’t easily traced, he said.
But 42,000 pounds of pistachios wasn’t something he had seen before.
– New York Times