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Madera farmer finds some of his raisin crop stolen

Friday, September 13, 2013

It is harvest time for raisins but a Madera farmer has found some of his crop has been stolen. The theft happened near the Fresno and Madera County line on Highway 145, near Skaggs Bridge and Avenue 5 ½.

Fresh tire tracks are still at the vineyard Madera County sheriff's investigators say thieves hauled off a ton of raisins. Neighbors say it had to take more than one person to commit this crime.

Madera county sheriff's spokeswoman Erica Stuart says the thieves were bold and clearly intend to resale the raisins.

"It's a pretty major thoroughfare in that areas, as you know, were they headed to Kerman? Were they headed somewhere in Fresno or were they headed north?" Stuart said.

The raisins in row 25 were harvested early by thieves. Neighbors believe they came sometime Wednesday night and got away with 500 trays with the value is $2,000 dollars. One neighbor says he didn't notice anything suspicious, but one of his kids did.

"On the same day to the problem right here, my son that's 17-years-old and goes to the high school, say when they are coming here, very late, this truck is running in the field, right here," neighbor Martin Carbajal said.

Investigators are hoping a tip from the public or cameras in the area will help them track down these thieves. Sheriff's officials say some farmers are taking their own steps to protect the valuable commodity, that's very vulnerable when it's on the ground.

"In a lot of cases what the ag community is now starting to do is they're setting up their own surveillance so they can catch these criminals and figure out what's going on," Stuart said.

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Tags:
madera county, theft, grape - raisin, local, sontaya rose
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