Walnut thefts common in California

Several California counties have established local ordinances to help address the theft of walnuts from orchards after they're shaken to the ground.

Walnut buying period established in California

Several California counties have established local ordinances Law enforcement can now ask for proof of ownership for those with walnuts  

Several California counties with commercial walnut orchards instituted local ordinance restrictions in order help curb walnut thefts after the harvest.

Major walnut producing counties, including Tulare, Stanislaus and Butte announced the Nov. 1 walnut buying period, a move that gives local law enforcement tools to address nut thefts. Several other counties where commercial walnuts are produced have similar ordinances.

“Commercial production and handling of walnuts constitute an important industry here in Tulare County,” said county Agricultural Commissioner Marilyn Kinoshita. “Unfortunately, some people steal them from orchards and attempt to sell the walnuts illegally on the streets. County staff has been actively enforcing the nut theft ordinance by conducting compliance checks at places where walnuts are sold to ensure that this practice stops.”

Tulare County’s ordinance, which is said to be similar to other counties in the state, requires a proof of ownership certificate be provided to law enforcement or county ag department staff upon demand when in possession of walnuts.

In Tulare County this includes:

  1. Name, address, driver’s license number, telephone number, signature of seller;
  2. Name, address, telephone number, and signature of buyer;
  3. Vehicle license plate number of the seller;
  4. Common or generic name and quantity of the commodity involved; and,
  5. Date and time of the transaction.

A copy of the record shall be retained by the seller for a period of 60 days after delivery and by the buyer for a period of two years from the date of such sale.

The same information is required when selling walnuts from a private roadside stand. 

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