Thieves Take 5 Tons of Watermelon from Oregon Stores

June 20, 2013

Police and Clackamas County sheriff’s detectives say two men stole 17 pallets of watermelon – about 5 tons – from grocery stores in Beaverton and Tigard.

Officials say they hit WinCo stores in the early morning hours of June 7. The watermelons had been left outside for sale. The men told one employee who confronted them at the Beaverton store they were removing the melons because they had black spots.

The Oregonian reports surveillance video helped investigators identify two suspects – 42-year-old William Jake Traverso of Canby and 40-year-old Brad A. Taylor of Molalla. Deputies arrested Traverso Tuesday at his parents’ home. They’re looking for Taylor.

Police believe the pair sold most of the melons to small markets to support a methamphetamine addiction. Five pallets were recovered.

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