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Workers Pilfered $300,000 Worth of Avocados, Police Say

Thieves stole and planned to sell the popular fruit

FotoZavoD / Shutterstock

The facility plans to tighten its security to prevent any more thefts.

The glorious avocado — known for its pebbly armored skin, succulent green flesh and soaring price — is enjoying a global surge in popularity of late.

Whether it’s the featured ingredient in an outrageously priced serving of avocado toast or the culprit in a sudden increase in avocado-cutting hand injuries, one thing is clear: People are crazy about the heart-healthy fruit.

In fact, authorities say that growing popularity could have driven three workers from an Oxnard-based produce company to pilfer $300,000 worth of avocados recently.

“They are in demand. Everybody loves avocados,” said Sgt. John Franchi of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.

Carlos Chavez, 28, of Oxnard; Rahim Leblanc, 30, also of Oxnard; and Joseph Valenzuela, 38, of Santa Paula, were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of grand theft of avocados, the Sheriff’s Office said. It is unclear how many pounds were stolen.

“We take these kinds of thefts seriously,” Franchi said. “It’s a big product here and in California.”


Read more about the avocado scandal on LA Times.