California man faces charges in foiled $294K nut heist

August 27, 2020

Land Line Staff


A Fresno man has been booked on charges of grand theft, conspiracy identity theft and looting in what authorities are calling an elaborate scheme to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of pistachios.

Bhavna Singh Sekon, 23, was booked into the Tulare County Pre-Trial Facility, according to an Aug. 26 Facebook post by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. He was arrested at his home, where police say they recovered additional evidence linking him to the scheme.

Officers were dispatched on Aug. 14 to Setton Pistachio in Terra Bella, Calif., to investigate a reported cargo theft. Police say detectives learned the thieves stole the identity of a legitimate trucking company. They used that company’s name to secure contracts for the delivery of two tractor-trailer loads of pistachios. The loads are valued at more than $294,000.

“Instead of delivering the product, the suspects took the pistachios to an abandoned property in Selma, where they removed the packaging,” the post states. “They then sold the product to an unsuspecting buyer in Madera County.”

The Sheriff’s office states that as the investigation unfolded detectives learned the suspects “developed an elaborate scheme to carry out their plan.”

That scheme included the using a semitruck and stealing two trailers from a Fresno business. The sheriff’s office says the stolen trailers were equipped with real-time GPS devices. When detectives contacted the owner of the company and told them about the thefts, they were able to track down the suspects as well as all of the pistachios and the stolen trailers. Police estimate the value of the recovered nuts and trailers to be around $350,000.

The sheriff’s office says additional arrests are anticipated. Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact Detective Bryan De Haan or Sgt. Bryan Clower at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-808-0488 or anonymously at, or by text or voicemail at 559-725-4194.