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Yuba City pair nabbed in Arbuckle almond swipe
Two Yuba City men went a little nuts on Wednesday night in Colusa County, authorities said, when they tried to pull off a $2,000 almond heist during their meal break.
"It's a little unusual," Colusa County sheriff's Lt. Shane Maxey said. "This is a pretty large amount. We see this more commonly in open fields, not so much from a business."
Deputies arrested Hugo Calderon and German Marroquin Ortiz about 11:30 p.m. at the Chico Nut Co. on Cortina School Road in Arbuckle. Both men work at the nut hulling company, authorities said.
The duo used a forklift to swipe the almond bin on their meal break around 8 p.m. They loaded the nuts into the back of a pickup truck, Maxey said.
However, the plan went awry when the forklift got stuck in the mud outside the company building.
Calderon, 26, and Ortiz, 43, abandoned the forklift and drove the truck to an undetermined location to stash the bin, the Sheriff's Department said.
A company supervisor spotted the entangled forklift and missing nuts, then alerted authorities.
Ortiz and Calderon returned to work a short time later, but sheriff's deputies were already on scene, Maxey said.
Investigators found shoe prints in the mud near the forklift and started examining the employees' shoes. Maxey said the prints matched shoes worn by Calderon and Ortiz.
"They said they planned to sell the almonds for a little extra money," Maxey said.
Deputies have not recovered the stolen almonds.
Calderon and Ortiz were booked into the Colusa County Jail on suspicion of grand theft of an agricultural crop. Both were still in custody Thursday on $10,000 bail.