Fake drivers have made off with loads of almonds in the past two weeks, and leaders are warning operations to be vigilant.
The Western Agricultural Processors Association is reporting that two loads of unfinished almonds were stolen recently via ‘fictitious pickups.’ The theft is a highly organized method where criminals get transport information through various means, even computer hacking, and send a truck and driver to claim the load falsely. In 2016, there was a flare-up of fictitious pickups in the California nut industries that brought this style of theft to light.
From a theft summit in 2016, WAPA developed a checklist for any operation to use when drivers are coming to pick up loads of crops. The list includes getting the names of the driver and truck company, photographs of both including the plates and VIN, installing surveillance cameras, and asking for a thumbprint from the driver.
Listen to the radio report.