The Butte County Farm Bureau is warning farmers to be vigilant during harvest season after a local walnut grower caught two people trying to steal his harvest.
A local farmer reported to Colleen Cecil, Executive Director of the Butte County Farm Bureau, that he was on his 16 acre orchard in Gridley when he spotted man and woman trying to sweep walnuts into burlap bags Tuesday afternoon. The farmer tried to apprehend the two suspects but they ran off before authorities arrived. The woman reportedly returned again Wednesday afternoon and was chased off the property by the farmer, leaving behind her burlap bags.
Butte County Sheriff's Deputies are investigating where these burlap bags came from. Earlier this year Butte County Supervisors passed the Records of Ownership of Nut Crops Law making it illegal for people to take walnuts from orchards of property owners and selling them along the roadside.
"This is the time of year were we see walnut theft at its highest levels," Cecil said. "Farmers should be aware of their crops and report anything suspicious to authorities."
If you spot a theft in progress you are urged to call law enforcement.