Avocados are important to Californians – so much so that they were the subject of a grand theft investigation that led to multiple arrests this week in Southern California.
Three men were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of grand theft of vegetables and fruit, the Ventura County Star reported Friday. In particular, they are suspected of stealing avocados from their employer, Mission Produce in Ventura County, for resale.
The company estimates the stolen avocados to be worth more than $300,000, according to NBC Los Angeles, and the charges against the men could change as the investigation proceeds. The Los Angeles Times reported that the company’s president, Steve Barnard, was tipped off by customers and saw the suspects selling the avocados via surveillance footage.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Office detectives have reportedly been investigating since May.
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“The investigation is ongoing as Sheriff’s Detectives are looking into the possibility that the suspects sold the avocados to unknowing customers, who thought they were paying Mission Produce for the fruit,” a statement from sheriff’s officials said.