80,000 Pounds Of Walnuts Stolen In California

Nut Thief Drives Away With Hundreds Of Thousands In Stolen Walnuts

As the Northeast hunkered down in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, authorities on the West Coast were embroiled in a seriously nutty mystery: the disappearance of 80,000 pounds of walnuts, stolen in two installments, from Northern California.

According to the Associated Press, the walnuts were first reported missing Friday by workers at a freight brokerage firm. Workers called the Tehama County Sheriff's Office to say that a truckload of walnuts, purchased by Seattle company F.C. Bloxom and Co., never reached their destination in Miami.

The incident was then matched to a similar theft a few days earlier. A heist on Oct. 23 involved 40,000 pounds of walnuts, which were picked up in Los Molinos, Calif., but never arrived in Texas, where they were expected, NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth notes.

According to the Redding Searchlight, authorities believe the two crimes could be the work of the same individual-- a "suspicious delivery driver" with a tall build and strong Russian accent.

The trucking company, hired by San Antonio-based Hill Country Bakery, helped deputies figure out the man who took receipt of the nuts was actually an imposter, albeit a prepared one: The delivery man had managed to secure the correct purchase numbers for the walnuts.

The man is said to be 6 feet 2 inches tall and driving a white semi. The 80,000 pounds of walnuts were valued at about $300,000.

Food thefts, though not quite as flashy as say, diamond thefts, have been in the news recently. In late August, some sticky-fingered thieves up north stole several millions dollars worth of maple syrup from a secure warehouse in Quebec, Canada.

The valuable stolen syrup was recovered earlier this month in New Brunswick, however, where it was put under police protection, pending further investigation.

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