Trucker and Accomplice Busted in $200K Attempted Nut Heist… But That’s Not All
Kern County, CA – Two men are behind bars after they attempted to steal a load of pistachios from a shipper, valued at $200,000.
According to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Rural Crime Investigation Unit, the “nutty” event occurred on July 15.
KCSO said deputies were notified Arman Karapetyan, 32, from Van Nuys, and Manuk Aghajanyan, 30, from Glendale, were at a local pistachio and almond distribution center attempting to fraudulently pick up a load of pistachios.
When they were unable to procure the load, authorities said the men fled along Interstate 5 in a big rig.
Detectives discovered Karapetyan and Aghajanyan attempted to falsify their identity and employer in attempts to secure the $200,000 load.
An investigation by KCSO also revealed the trailer the men were pulling was stolen.
The men were located a short time later and arrested for grand theft cargo and possession of a stolen vehicle.
KCSO is requesting for anyone with additional information to call (661) 861-3110 or the Secret Witness Line at (661) 322-4040.
But Wait… There’s More…
Court records show Karapetyan was charged with identity theft in 2012.
According to the LA Times, Karapetyan was involved in a scheme along with four other men to re-encode credit cards using the identities of 13 individuals from Washington state.
Additionally, police believed the men were selling re-encoded cards to truckers for $2500.
The truckers, in turn, would use the re-encoded cards to buy diesel fuel.
Police, however, were not able to obtain enough evidence to formally charge the men for the alleged trucker scheme.
Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveal Karapetyan is the owner of the one driver, one truck company, Urartu Trucking.
Fun Nut Fact: MoneyInc.com ranks pistachio as the world’s ninth most expensive nut at $2.00-2.50 per pound.