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Hands off my … umm … walnuts!

November 13, 2006
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If you’re planning to roast chestnuts over an open fire this Ramahanukwanzmas, you may want to pay attention to the following news from USA Today.  As a man who loves a good pistachio, this hit home.

It seems that the nut crop in California is having a down year.  Prices for almonds and walnuts are up over 80 percent.

And nut theft is on the rise. The thiefs are going high-tech, according to the article:

The recent nut heists appear well-organized and sophisticated.

The criminals use computers to track shipments and seem to know the market. Fall is the time when demand and prices are high and supply is still low before the remaining harvest, said deputy Royjindar Singh, a spokesman for the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.

“It has to be someone who knows the market well and has a buyer lined up,” he said.

About 70% of almonds grown in California go to other countries, and that’s where rural crime investigators think thieves are selling them. Paperwork and a well-linked industry in the USA would make domestic sales of big stolen almond loads difficult, Singh said.

[Skyrocketing almond, walnut prices draw thieves to California farms] (USATODAY.com)

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