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Sheriff’s deputy arrests man stealing avocados from Goleta ranch, also finds narcotics

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – A Sheriff's deputy arrested a Lompoc man as he was stealing avocados from a ranch in Goleta on Sunday, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

The deputy, Hartley Freedman, said he was patrolling the area when he saw the Lompoc man wearing a headlamp and holding a bucket of avocados walking towards a car parked on the 6900-block of Cathedral Oaks Rd.

Upon further inspection, Freedman noticed a bag of methamphetamine on the dashboard of the car, according to the sheriff's office.

Deputies later searched the vehicle and found a methamphetamine pipe and a trunk full of avocados, according to the report.

The sheriff's office said the deputies contacted the ranch owners who said that the Lompoc man did not have permission to harvest the avocados.

The 44-year-old Lompoc man was then arrested and booked into the Main Jail for grand theft of fruit (felony), possession of a controlled substance (misdemeanor), and possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor).

The sheriff's office said that the man was then released without bail in compliance with the local court’s extension of Emergency Rule 4, and the avocados were photographed and returned to the ranch owner.

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Lily Dallow

Lily Dallow is a digital journalist and assignment editor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Lily, click here.

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