Farm Watch

A message from Detective Chip Cadman:
Farm Watch readers, on Sunday (March 6th), Sheriff’s Deputies were patrolling in the unincorporated area of Santa Paula due to recent avocado thefts. While in the 1700 block of South Mountain Road, Deputies were able to detain and later arrest (S) Jorge Chavez (34 years) for petty theft with priors [666(a) California Penal Code], and receiving stolen property [496(a) California Penal Code], now both Proposition 47 misdemeanors.
During their investigation, Deputies discovered Chavez walking away from a local avocado property carrying sweatpants made into a make shift backpack, over his shoulder, loaded with avocados. Chavez told Deputies, he was given permission from the property owner to harvest the fruit. Deputies contacted the owner of the property and quickly established this was a lie. Chavez then explained to Deputies: It was the ranch owner’s fault for not building a bigger fence to keep him out. Chavez said, he was not responsible for the theft since the fence did not protect the avocado trees very well. Deputies learned Chavez was responsible for similar thefts and booked him into the Pre-Trial Detention Facility, because his criminal behavior was likely to continue.
Several properties in this area have previously been the victims of avocado thefts. If you own property in this area, please take additional steps to protect your property and report suspicious activity to Sheriff’s Dispatch. Based upon Chavez’ statement, it is clear in the mind of a thief, it is the property owner’s fault for not taking steps to prevent a theft from occurring. If you have been the recent victim of a theft, please contact Sheriff’s Dispatch and request a deputy respond to your location to take a crime report, so we can try and tie this suspect to more crimes. Please look at the below posted photograph of the suspect and see if you recognize him as being on your property. A collaborative effort will help us prevail over criminals.

Jorge Chavez
The following advice is always wise if you suspect illegal activity on your property:
• Call the Sheriff’s Office immediately at 911.
• Be a good witness, note suspect descriptions such as age, height, weight, facial hair, clothing, and shoe type.
• If a vehicle is involved, obtain a license plate number and note vehicle color, body damage, bumper stickers, camper shell, after market tires and wheels, etc.
• Provide the dispatcher with information about the time and last known direction of travel.

Be alert and stay safe!

Geoff Dean – Sheriff
Gary Pentis - Undersheriff
Steve DeCesari - Assistant Sheriff
Guy Stewart - Assistant Sheriff