ESCALON, Calif. (AP) - Authorities in California are trying to crack the case of a nut thief who made off with 140,000 pounds of walnuts.
The theft, estimated at nearly $400,000, occurred Sunday in the small Central Valley town of Escalon. Investigators say it was one of the biggest to hit the booming industry. Last month, about 12,000 pounds of walnuts worth $50,000 were stolen from a trailer parked on Highway 99 north of Sacramento.
This time several truckloads of walnuts were taken from the facility. Authorities say rising prices - about $2 per pound - is what appears to be driving the recent walnut thefts.
No arrests have yet been made.
Walnuts are California's fourth-leading agricultural export. China remains the world's leading producer of walnuts.
Police say they have identified the woman suspected of scamming an elderly woman outside of a Walmart.
Tracy Jennings is expected to be charged for stealing the woman's wallet. Jennings allegedly told the victim that she worked for the Walmart and while helping her load groceries in the car, she stole her wallet. The wallet contained several hundred dollars.
Jennings is held on a $25,000 bond.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A southwest Missouri man will serve one year and one day in prison with no chance of parole for evading federal reporting rules to conceal a scheme to sell stolen cooking oil.
The U.S. Attorney's office says in a news release Monday that 46-year-old Jesse Arnold of Sarcoxie was sentenced Friday. He also must also forfeit $207,817.
Arnold operated 4 States Grease Company, which collected spent cooking oil for recycling. He admitted last December that he knew he was buying old cooking oil that had been stolen by various drivers from businesses in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
Prosecutors said Arnold avoided federal reporting requirements by making withdrawals from his business checking count for less than $10,000. Banks must file a currency transaction report for any financial transaction over $10,000.