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Warrant: Suspect stole $1,500 in oranges from local orchard

Thefts happened over four-month period
Posted: 4:00 PM, Mar 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-13 19:19:49-04
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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — An Arvin man is facing nine felony charges after he was arrested for allegedly stealing $1,500 in navel oranges from a local orchard over a four-month period.

Carlos Serna was arrested Feb. 22 by Kern County Sheriff's deputies, accused of stealing produce, carrying a loaded unregistered gun, and trespassing.

According to court documents obtained by 23ABC News, on Oct. 14, 2018, a Gless Ranch employee spotted a bearded man trespassing on company property at Rockpile and Panama Roads. The employee told deputies the man was seen carrying a rifle. The employee also saw a dark-colored Chevrolet pickup truck driving in the area. That truck had a broken back window on the driver's side.

When he checked the area, the employee said around $300 in oranges had been stolen. That estimate was based on recent harvest records.

A little more than two months later, on Dec. 18, a man was seen in the same area riding a bright green motorcycle. Five days later, the same unidentified bearded man was seen again in the area, driving the same Chevy pickup. On that day, the employee reported around $600 in oranges were stolen.

On Feb. 10 of this year, the employee reported seeing the same bearded suspect on the property again, and then once more on Feb. 17.

The man, carrying a rifle and a bag, had an unidentified female with him as well, the employee told deputies. The employee said the bag the man had was the same as one used by employees to pick produce. Once again, around $600 in oranges were stolen.

The employee told investigators that the bearded man is not an employee at the ranch and does not have permission to be on the property or to take produce.

Serna was later identified as a suspect by another employee. Deputies then found Serna's photo in the Cogent Mugshot System.

When deputies searched Serna's home in Arvin, they found 17 bags of oranges, a Marlin .22 caliber bolt action rifle and ammunition, a Chevy Silverado and a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle as well as a black and blue motorcycle suit.

Those items were all seized by deputies as evidence.

On March 7, Serna pleaded not guilty to all 19 charges he's facing and is expected back in court on March 19.