Suspected Walnut Thieves Arrested

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Authorities have arrested two men in connection to a caper that saw over 140,060 pounds of walnuts stolen from an Escalon-area orchard.

The thefts happened back on Oct. 31 at the Gold River Orchards. Somehow, double semi-truck trailers loaded full of walnuts, worth over $400,000, were driven away. Detectives were able to find the trailers and return them, along with the walnuts, about a week later.

Detectives continued their investigation and got search warrants for two suspects in the case.

Friday, while executing the search warrant, a stolen tanker was found parked at a property along E. River Road in Oakdale. Then, a suspect – Pedro Becerra – drove up in another tanker. Deputies ran a check on the freightliner and found that it was clear, but the milk tanker it was pulling was found to have been reported stolen.

Another milk tanker pulled up a little later, this one driven by Mario Ojeda.

Becerra and Ojeda were later arrested on charges stemming from the walnut thefts. Becerra faces a further charge for the alleged theft of the milk tankers.

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