General Crime

Saul Rodriguez Watsonville man was arrested of theft of long-stem roses valued at the wholesale price of $7,000

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A Watsonville man was arrested Monday afternoon following a two-week investigation into a theft of long-stem roses valued at the wholesale price of $7,000, a Santa Cruz County sheriff’s spokeswoman said. On Feb. 1 the Monterey Bay Bouquet reported a burglary of two pallets of roses at their main warehouse at 481 San Andreas Road in unincorporated Watsonville, sheriff’s Deputy April Skalland said.

Deputies responded and collected evidence at the site of the stolen flowers, which had an estimated retail value of $18,000, Skalland said. Authorities were able to identify Saul Rodriguez, 35, as the suspected flower thief. On Monday afternoon Rodriguez turned himself into the Santa Cruz County Jail and he was arrested and booked on burglary charges.

His bail was set at $25,000 and he remains in police custody, Skalland said. Rodriguez appears to have stolen the plants prematurely. His alleged plans to sell the roses for Valentine’s Day were unsuccessful when the flowers spoiled within days after the heist. He allegedly dumped the flowers in a ditch off state Highway 152, Skalland said.

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