Purloined pistachios: 20 tons recovered in central California

The heist was a nutty one but nothing new to investigators in America’s most productive farmland — the San Joaquin Valley, where the nuts were stolen.

SHARE Purloined pistachios: 20 tons recovered in central California
The Tulare County, Calif., sheriff’s agricultural crimes unit announced in a Facebook post that it had cracked the nutty investigation.

The Tulare County, Calif., sheriff’s agricultural crimes unit announced in a Facebook post that it had cracked the nutty investigation.

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DELANO, Calif. — California detectives say they’ve solved the curious caper of the purloined pistachios.

The heist was a nutty one but nothing new to investigators in America’s most productive farmland. In a nutshell, an audit by the Touchstone Pistachio Company in the San Joaquin Valley discovered that 42,000 pounds were missing.

The company contacted the Tulare County sheriff’s agricultural crimes unit, according to the sheriff’s office, which said in a Facebook post that the trail led to parking lots in Delano, 140 miles north of Los Angeles.

Investigators found a tractor-trailer there containing the remaining nuts, which have been returned to Touchstone, and arrested a 34-year-old man.

Detectives determined that the pistachios were being transferred from their 2,000-pound sacks to smaller bags for resale.

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