Men accused of stealing thousands of pounds of watermelons - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Watermelon thefts: Men accused of stealing thousands of pounds of fruit

Brad Taylor and William "Billy" Traverso Brad Taylor and William "Billy" Traverso

Police have identified two men accused of stealing thousands of pounds of watermelons from local grocery stores.

Beaverton police were called out to the WinCo Foods store on Cedar Hills Boulevard the morning of June 7. Employees said six pallets of watermelons weighting nearly 5,800 pounds were stolen at 4 a.m.

During the investigation, officers learned a similar fruit heist, this time involving 11 pallets of watermelons, happened two hours earlier at the Tigard WinCo store.

A worker at the Beaverton store confronted the two suspects as they were loading the watermelons into a truck. The employee went inside the store to get a supervisor, but when they returned, the truck and suspects, along with the watermelons, were gone.

The employee provided a good description of the suspects and the truck to police. Police used that information, along with surveillance video, to identify the two suspects as Brad Taylor, 40, of Molalla, and William "Billy" Traverso, 42, of Canby.

Taylor at one time was employed delivering watermelons. Investigators believe their intent was to sell the stolen fruit. Detectives said the stolen watermelons are valued at around $7,000.

Beaverton police said five of the stolen pallets have been recovered from a storage building on the Stoller Farm property in Aurora. WinCo workers picked them up, but those watermelons will not be sold to the public.

If you know anything about the suspects, call police at 503-629-0111.

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