Low-Risk Nut Theft Always Tempting

Taylor Hillman Specialty Crops, Tree, nut & vine crops

Large container ship in a dock

High-dollar nut theft is nothing new to California and officials say the low-risk involved will keep California agriculture familiar with the crime.

Low-Risk Crime Always Tempting

Tulare County held an emergency nut theft summit last month that addressed an ongoing case in the area. A large amount of pistachios was supposed to be delivered to Washington as part of a purchase order from Costco, but instead the nuts were delivered to ports in Los Angeles. The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department says this type of crime is known as a fictitious pickup. Criminals hack online shipping information and change when and where loads are picked up and delivered.

Butte County Sheriff’s Detective Matt Calkins spoke at the summit about his county’s experience with cybercrime. It’s hard to catch the criminals in the act as the shipments look normal and legal moving through the state. Calkins says the other issue is that the crime doesn’t match the punishment and those two factors will always make this style of theft tempting to criminals.

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