Yuba City pair nabbed in Arbuckle almond heist
Two Yuba City men went a little nuts Wednesday night in Colusa County when they tried to pull off a $2,000 almond heist during their meal break, sheriff's officials said.
"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 at around 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 allegedly used a forklift to swipe an almond bin on their meal break at around 8 p.m., then loaded the nuts onto a pickup, Maxey said.
However, the plan went to seed when the forklift got stuck in the mud.
Calderon, 26, and Ortiz, 43, abandoned the forklift and drove the pickup to an undetermined location to stash the bin, Maxey said.
A company supervisor spotted the entangled forklift and the missing nuts, then alerted authorities.
Ortiz and Calderon returned to work a short time later, but sheriff's deputies were on scene, Maxey said.
Investigators discovered 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.
The stolen almonds have not been recovered.
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.