Grand theft avocado: Three arrested after stealing $400,000 in fruit heist

Police are calling it grand theft avocado.

Three produce company workers have been arrested in the theft of up to US$300,000 ($394,230 AUD) worth of avocados, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Office.

Thirty-eight-year-old Joseph Valenzuela, 28-year-old Carlos Chavez and 30-year-old Rahim Leblanc were each charged with grand theft of fruit and were being held in jail on bail of $250,000 each. They were arrested Wednesday.

(In no order) Joseph Valenzuela, Carlos Chavez and Rahim Leblanc were charged with grand theft of fruit. Source: AAP

It was unclear whether they have lawyers.

Detectives began investigating the suspects in May after receiving a tip that they were conducting unauthorised cash sales of avocados from a ripening facility in the city of Oxnard owned by the Mission Produce company.

The company estimated the avocado loss at about $300,000, the sheriff's office said.

"We take these kinds of thefts seriously. It's a big product here and in California," sheriff's sergeant John Franchi told the Los Angeles Times.

"Everybody loves avocados."

The company estimated a loss at about $300,000 according to police. Source: AAP