Thursday, August 16 , 2018, 6:20 am | Fair 64º


Local News

Alleged Theft of Broccoli Seeds Lands Santa Maria Woman In Hot Water

A Santa Maria woman is facing felony charges for allegedly attempting to sell broccoli seeds stolen from a Nipomo business. Click to view larger
A Santa Maria woman is facing felony charges for allegedly attempting to sell broccoli seeds stolen from a Nipomo business.  (SLO Sheriff’s Department)

A leafy-green plant not typically found at the center of a criminal case has landed a Santa Maria woman in legal trouble.

Blanca Paz Trejo, 21, is facing felony charges for allegedly attempting to sell broccoli seeds taken from a Nipomo company, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department.

Trejo was arrested following an investigation into agricuture theft from Growers Transplanting Inc. on Dawn Road, sheriff's spokesman Tony Cipolla said Thursday.

Last month, Growers Transplanting reported the theft of broccoli seeds, Cipolla said.

During the investigation by deputies from the Rural Crime Unit, a worker received notification that an ex-employee was selling the same type of broccoli seed under an alias Facebook account. 

Deputies contacted the former employee through social media to arrange to buy the broccoli seeds. 

"Upon arrival at the arranged location, the Rural Crime Deputies inspected the seeds and noticed that the lot and batch numbers were a match to the stolen seeds,” Cippola said.

Deputies searched Trejo's Santa Maria home and located the original boxes in which the broccoli seeds had been stored, he added. 

The estimated value of the seeds is $22,750, Cipolla said. 

The seeds were returned to Growers Transplanting Inc., and felony charges of possession of stolen property were submitted to the District Attorney's Office.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >