Share

'Nut Mafia' Nabs California Walnuts

By Annie Hauser
Published: November 7, 2013

A walnut orchard in Central California. (Flickr/boboroshi)

Weather might be driving a rash of walnut heists.

In California, a few years of smaller-than-normal nut crops, thanks to unusually wet springs, have hurt the region's walnut supply, according to Western Farm Press.

Enter: the rash of nut stealing that has been plaguing California's Central Valley

The latest crime? A theft of $400,000 worth of walnuts, NPR reports. 

Rich Paloma, a local California reporter, told NPR that makes six separate walnuts thefts in the region in recent months.

"The walnuts were in three double-trailer sets ... apparently the suspect or suspects hooked up their own tractor to [it] and then drove it off through the fence and then onto the nearby highway," he said.

He believes the thieves are part of a larger "nut mafia" — organized criminals who are carefully orchestrating their crimes. "Some of the sources I've contacted indicate that there's an organized crime aspect to this," he told NPR. "If you look at how [the nuts are] taken out, how they are planned, the equipment that is being used, it's going to require some investment."

CBS Sacramento reported that the commodity's rising prices are motivating nut thieves. The price of walnuts have more than tripled in recent years, going from 60 cents to $2 a pound, CBS Sacramento reported.

promo1

Featured Blogs

The Record Quiet Hurricane Season of 1914: Could it Happen Again in 2014?

By Dr. Jeff Masters
July 25, 2014

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the slowest Atlantic hurricane season on record--1914, which had no hurricanes and only one tropical storm. Is it possible that the 2014 hurricane season could match 1914 for the lowest activity ever recorded, with Hurricane Arthur ending up as our only named storm? I think that is highly unlikely, even though the atmospheric and oceanic conditions in the Atlantic are looking hostile for development for the coming two weeks.

Warmest Days of the Year for the U.S.

By Christopher C. Burt
July 9, 2014

NOAA recently produced an interesting map showing when the hottest day of the year is likely to occur in the contiguous U.S. Complimenting this map is one produced by Brian Brettschneider of Borealis Scientific, LLC, which illustrates the date of summer’s midpoint (peak of summer average temperatures) which was reproduced in my blog posted last August. Brian has also produced maps of such for the Fall, Winter and Spring seasons. There is also some other great material from Brian herein.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.