'Truckers' accused of trying to steal loads of almonds

WASCO, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) For the second time this month, Kern County deputies made an arrest in alleged almond theft by people posing as legitimate transport drivers.

Employees at the Mandelin Inc. almond processing facility in Wasco grew suspicious late last week of the truckers who were supposed to take the almonds to New Jersey. The workers called the sheriff's office, and deputies found the truckers to have fake license plates and fake company logos.

The truckers, Gerardo Trevino and Peter Devote, were arrested on suspicion of trying to steal the $150,000 load of almonds.

A week earlier, another trucker, Francisco Javier Lopez Martinez, was arrested for allegedly trying to steal a load of almonds, also from a Wasco company. Inland Container Express made a contract with a company to transport the Sunny Gem almonds to North Carolina. That freight broker grew suspicious when the fraudulent company turned in paperwork with a list of fake numbers.

Monday, The Associated Press reported similar thefts across the country - almonds in California, cheese in Wisconsin and rib-eye steaks in Texas.