Authorities with the Fallbrook Sheriff’s substation reported that deputies arrested a man and woman today (Wed. May 28) on felony charges relating the theft of fruit.
According to Sheriff’s Sergeant Jim Pucillo, deputies responded to a call shortly after 10:30 a.m. in the 200 block of Foxfire Lane in Fallbrook after ” a grove management company called the Sheriff’s Department to report the theft of approximately $500 in fruit, mainly Navel and Valencia oranges.”
Pucillo said workers at the location “had observed an adult male Hispanic and an adult female Hispanic loading a pick-up truck with boxes of fruit from the grove.” When the couple was confronted, they fled the scene in a pickup driven by the female.
“A witness was able to obtain the vehicle license plate,” said Pucillo.
“At about noon, deputies went to the address of the registered owner, in the 200 block of Ammunition Road in Fallbrook,” he said.
The deputies made contact with the female driver of the truck, who has been identified as Mayra Mocedo, 23.
“She initially told deputies the male was not with her in the residence,” said Pucillo. “Mocedo consented to a search of the residence and deputies located the male, identified as 49-year-old Joel Mendoza, hiding in a rear bedroom.”
When questioned, both Mocedo and Mendoza denied stealing the fruit, Pucillo said.
At shortly after 2 p.m., “420 pounds of the fruit was recovered from an address in the 400 Block of West Dougherty Street in Fallbrook,” said Pucillo. “The recovered fruit had a retail value of about $420 and it was returned to the victim.
According to Pucillo, Mocedo and Mendoza were both booked into the Vista Jail on the charge of 487 (1)(A) PC Grand Theft (Fruit).
Detectives with the Fallbrook substation are still conducting an investigation into the case.
Anyone with information about this case can call the Sheriff’s Department non-emergency line at (858) 565-5200.
Callers can remain anonymous and be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest if they call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.