ESCALON, CA - Thieves stole three truckloads of walnuts from a grower sometime between 5:30 Wednesday evening and 7 o'clock Thursday morning, authorities said.
The double hoppers were leased by Gold River Orchards from Tuff Boy Leasing, according to San Joaquin County sheriff's Deputy Les Garcia. The trailers had been parked on the southeast side of the 18400 block of S. Enterprise Boulevard in Escalon.
The hoppers were estimated to carry more than 140,060 pounds of walnuts, Garcia said. At $2.70 a pound, the loss of the crop comes out to $378,162. A pound of shelled walnuts retails for about $7 a pound.
Garcia said investigators found wood fence posts had been cut on the south-side fence. Based on tire tracks in the area, it appeared the loaded trailers were taken out from the same area and driven south along the fence line and onto Highway 120.
Anyone with information about the theft was asked to call the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office at (209) 468-4414 or to remain anonymous "Text a Tip" to "274637" and in the message area type SJSO, a space, and then your tip.