Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Globe Special: Driving Me Nuts

Maybe I should stop buying it, but then I wouldn't be able to deliver you this wonderful items:

"Calif. nut growers band together to fight theft, organized crime" by Scott Smith |  Associated Press, January 19, 2014

ESCALON, Calif. — The soaring value of California’s nut crops is attracting a new breed of thieves who have been making off with the pricey commodities by the truckload, recalling images of cattle rustlers of bygone days.

This harvest season in the Central Valley, thieves cut through a fence and hauled off $400,000 in walnuts. Another $100,000 in almonds was stolen by a driver with a fake license. And $100,000 in pistachios was taken by a big rig driver who left a farm without filling out any paperwork.

Investigators suspect low-level organized crime may have a hand in cases, while some pilfered nuts are ending up in Los Angeles for resale at farmers markets or disappear into the black market.

Better check mine.

Domestic demand for specialty foods and an expanding Asian market for them have prompted a nut orchard boom in the state’s agricultural heartland. Such heists have become so common that an industry taskforce recently formed to devise ways to thwart thieves.

“The Wild West is alive and well in certain aspects,” said Danielle Oliver of the California Farm Bureau. “There’s always someone out there trying to make a quick dollar on somebody else’s hard work.”

Amid the nut boom, farmers have torn out vineyards and other crops to plant nut trees to keep up with demand. Real estate firms, retirement funds, and insurance companies have taken note by adding almond, walnut, and pistachio land to diversify their portfolios….

Once you crack the shell of a Globe you reali$e it is concerned with only one thing.

It's “kind of like the gold rush of the 1850s,” a frenzy has spawned crime….

Speaking of heavy metals:

Heavy Metal Thieves Draining Boston

And then the Globe rolled it away again.

Authorities say the type of industrial identity theft known as a “fictitious pickup” is becoming more sophisticated. It often involves con artists providing fabricated insurance documents and US Department of Transportation numbers for trucks.

So the NSA satellites and monitoring of communications and movements means nothing, huh?

Maybe I'm nuts, but is it possible the government itself is behind the thefts?