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Thieves Steal Purse, Ruin Hughson Almond Farmer’s Crops

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HUGHSON --

A Stanislaus County almond farmer's crops for the year are likely destroyed after thieves stole a check she planned to use for her trees.

"People don't know what other people are going through. How dare they come into my life," said victim Lydia Gallardo-Mendoza.

The Hughson almond farmer said on February 15, thieves snatched her purse out of the trunk while she was cleaning out her car. Inside that purse was a check for $5,000 to pay for bees that would pollinate the almond trees on her farm.

Gallardo-Mendoza said the check was cashed by the thieves. She not only lost thousands, but will continue to lose profits. She said this year's crops are likely a total loss.

"The flowers are gone already, once the flowers are gone, that's it until next year," said Gallardo-Mendoza.

According to the victim, $1,500 in cash was also stolen. She said the thieves then charged hundreds of dollars at Target, wrote a check for $1,000 out of her stolen checkbook and took her and her kids' personal information.

Now this mom of three is trying to figure out how to provide for her family without the money she expected to get from almond sales.

She said she's going to be taking a big financial hit.

"I just want these people caught and prosecuted because they have turned my life upside down," she said.