Police may be cheekily calling it "grand theft avocado," but the theft of up to $300,000 worth of avocados is a serious charge against three produce company workers.
According to the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, 38-year-old Joseph Valenzuela, 28-year-old Carlos Chavez, and 30-year-old Rahim Leblanc were each charged with grand theft of fruit and were being held in jail on bail of $250,000 each, The Associated Press reported. They were arrested Wednesday.
It was unclear whether they have attorneys.
Detectives began investigating the suspects in May after receiving a tip that they were conducting unauthorized cash sales of avocados from a ripening facility in the city of Oxnard owned by the Mission Produce company.
The company estimated the avocado loss at about $300,000, the sheriff's office said.
"We take these kinds of thefts seriously. It's a big product here and in California," sheriff's Sgt. John Franchi told the Los Angeles Times. "Everybody loves avocados."
Twitter users were amused by the play on words.
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