Someone stole a ton of raisins from a Madera County vineyard this week, authorities said. An entire row of raisins, valued at nearly $2,000, vanished between the Wednesday night and Thursday morning from the vineyard south of Avenue 5 1/2 and on the east side of State Route 145, said Madera County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Erica Stuart.
Harvest of raisin grapes began last month in the valley.
The county’s crushed, dried and fresh raisin crops were valued at $141,793,000 in 2012 and were the second most valuable agricultural commodity produced by Madera County. The state-wide harvest forecast for such crops is up 25.5 percent this year (2.50 million tons) compared to 2012 due to favorable weather conditions and low mildew, according to the Raisin Grape Objective Measurement Survey taken in July.
County ag crimes detectives are investigating the theft. Authorities ask that anyone who may have information on the case call the Sheriff’s Office at 675-7770.