Sunday, August 18, 2019 | Updated at 9:30 AM ET


Workers Steal $300,000 Worth of Avocados

First Posted: Jun 19, 2017 11:43 AM EDT

A group of workers at a produce company in Oxnard, California were arrested last week after it was discovered that they had stolen $300,000 worth of avocados for resale.

Thirty-eight-year-old Joseph Valenzuela, 28-year-old Carlos Chavez and 30-year-old Rahim Leblanc were each charged with grand theft avocado and were being held in an area jail on bail set at $250,000 each.

“We take these kinds of thefts seriously,” said Sgt. John Franchi of the Ventura County Sherriff's Office in a statement to the LA Times. “It’s a big product here and in California.”

The men are accused of stealing the popular and now-pricey fruit from their workplace and selling them out of the backdoor at a lesser price for more cash in their pockets. Bookkeepers at Mission Produce became aware of the discrepancy in their profits and discovered security camera footage of the theft.

Avocados have recently come under fire from the Trump administration via the form of tariffs on Mexican goods. Nearly 80% of avocados in America come from its southern neighbor, with California struggling to meet just 10% of the higher than ever demand for them. If things don't change, expect even bigger signs letting customers know that guacamole is extra.

“They are in demand," continued Franchi. "Everybody loves avocados.”

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