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400 pounds of pilfered mangoes recovered in desert traffic stop, deputies say

By in Press Enterprise on August 31, 2017

By Gail Wesson

A team investigating agricultural thefts from Coachella Valley farms recovered 400 pounds of freshly picked and stolen mangoes that had been taken earlier Wednesday, Aug. 30, from an Oasis farm, according to a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department news release.

Deputies found a suspect vehicle believed to be related to recent agricultural thefts traveling on the 86 Expressway near Avenue 66 and stopped the vehicle about 10 a.m. near Mecca.

Freshly picked mangos that deputies said were stolen from an Oasis farm Wednesday, Aug. 30. (Photo courtesy of Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.)

Carlos Alvarado, 25, and Maria Arciniega, 59, both of Thermal, were arrested on suspicion of felony theft of agriculture and booked at the Indio jail, according to jail records.

Alvarado also was held on an outstanding felony theft warrant. His bail is set at $100,000.

Sheriff’s Thermal Station deputies are assigned to the Southern Coachella Valley Community Service District team that is investigating recent agricultural thefts from the farming communities of Thermal, Oasis and Mecca.

The team apprehended two suspects on Aug. 22, caught in the process of cutting and removing Barhi dates from several trees at a Thermal grove, sheriff’s officials said last week.

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