Photo: Courtesy FlowerPower.com: Rosemary
Written by: Robert l. McCullough
20-year-old Fillmore resident Jose Antonio Rosales Hernandez has either found a niche market for the sale of a specific variety of stolen property or he’s got a serious addiction to certain herbs used in Italian cuisine.
Evidence of those two possibilities surfaced with his September 15 th arrest when, according to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Det. Sgt. Will Hollowell, “a large amount of Rosemary plants” were spotted in the bed of a pickup truck by a Fillmore Patrol deputy. The truck, parked illegally in a downtown Fillmore alleyway, caught the attention of the deputy who was unaware that the plants had been stolen “a few hours prior.”
Just a few hours later, however, the Sheriff’s Office received a call from a local wholesale nursery reporting the theft of “several hundred pounds” of Rosemary plants from their agricultural fields the prior night.
It didn’t take detectives and patrol deputies long to identify Hernandez through the technology and collaborative effort of local growers and supply houses affiliated with the “Farm Watch” partnership. Later the same afternoon, contact was made with Hernande who has a history of similar crimes with a 2019 arrest for the theft of Bay Laurel plants and who was still in possession of the purloined Rosemary plants when deputies caught up to him. He was taken into custody and transported to Ventura County Jail, where he was booked on a charge of agricultural theft with his bail set at $10,000.