Merced County sheriff's deputies are on the lookout after someone stole about 1,000 pounds of almonds from a ranch in Ballico.
The theft happened sometime after midnight March 22, although the crime wasn't reported to the sheriff's department until Friday, said deputy Tom MacKenzie, sheriff's spokesman.
Witnesses reported seeing three men drive up to the ranch in the 13000 block of Looney Road in a red pickup truck. A short time later, they drove away with a truck bed filled entirely with almonds.
Investigators believe the men used a forklift to load the almonds onto the truck. The almonds, which are valued at $4,000, were wrapped in plastic.
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Few details are known about the suspects. One of the men was wearing a dark-colored sweatshirt with a hood and dark pants. The second robber wore a tan jacket and blue jeans, while the third had a gray beanie.
The company has put up a $500 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the three robbers.
Investigators are asking anyone with information about the case to call detective Roy Tighe at (209) 710-6006. Calls are kept confidential, and you can remain anonymous.
Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.