California Man Arrested for Allegedly Stealing 21 Tons of Pistachios 

Nut Theft
Tulare County Sheriff's Office

This story is nuts and police are still looking for more information on it. 

Police in California say they have cracked the case and arrested a man Friday who they say he stole 21 tons of pistachios with the purpose of repackaging them.

Alberto Montemayor, 34, of Montemayor Trucking in Delano, was arrested Friday by cops after they say he stole 42,000 pounds of nuts with the intent to resell, CBS News reported.

The case was split open for the alleged perpetrator after a routine audit by Touchstone Pistachio Company of Fresno earlier this month, which revealed the 21 tons of the pistachio nuts were missing, CBS News reported.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office reported that on June 17, their Crimes Unit were contacted and requested to investigate the theft.

Officials said that leads in Fresno and in Kern County brought detectives to a tractor trailer with the pistachios inside that had been moved from a Montemayor Trucking lot to an area nearby, according to

Tulare County Sheriff's Office released the alleged perpetrator’s mugshot and details of the arrest Saturday on Facebook.

Authorities said pistachios from 2,000-pound sacks, one ton, were being put into smaller bags for resale and said the pistachios still in the tractor-trailer were returned to Touchstone Pistachio Company.

It is unclear if Montemayor has entered a plea or has representation. Inside Edition Digital has contacted the Tulare County Superior Courts for more information on his case and has not heard back.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 733-6218 or to send information anonymously, text or email

In April, the Capital Press reported that pistachio nuts were a record-breaking crop in 2020 and are nearly tied with the walnut as California’s second-biggest tree nut crop.

The demand for the pistachio nut is being hailed as the key to the future success of nut farmers, Capital Press added. Both domestic and international demand for the nut is on the rise.

The American Pistachio Growers says that pistachios have a $5.2 billion impact on the state’s economy.

“The demand is building. This is still such an adolescent industry here, and I do believe there’s still room for growth,” said Dominic Pitigliano, a fourth-generation California grower in Pixle, told The Capital Press.

Related Stories