A man from Calimesa has been arrested for stealing hundreds of citrus tree heaters from farms in Riverside County.
Investigators say he’s been taking the heaters from farms in Mentone and U.C. Riverside’s Citrus Research Center since the beginning of 2021.
The man was first spotted loading about 100 of the heaters, also called smudge pots, onto his pickup truck in mid-January 2021.
This happened several times until UCR police identified and arrested him in mid-February 2021.
Authorities say the suspect ended up with more than ten-thousand-dollars worth of heaters and intended to sell them.
The heaters are meant to keep citrus trees from freezing during the winter months.
Handcuffs laying on a table.
Photo by Alpha Media USA Portland OR