A Santa Maria woman has been charged with selling broccoli seeds stolen from her former place of employment in Nipomo, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office. 

On Oct. 3, deputies with the Sheriff's Office Rural Crime Unit responded to a report of broccoli seeds that were reported stolen from Growers Transplanting Inc., an agriculture/greenhouse technology company based in Nipomo. Throughout the investigation, an employee of the company received information that suspect Blanca Paz Trejo, 21, a former employee, was selling the same type of broccoli seed under an alias Facebook Account.

The next day, deputies contacted Trejo through social media under the pretense of buying some of her broccoli seeds that were posted on her page, and arranged to meet at her Santa Maria residence, the Sheriff's Office said.

Upon arrival, the Rural Crime deputies inspected the seeds and noticed that the lot and batch numbers were a match to the stolen seeds, officials said. 

Deputies then searched Trejo's residence and located the original boxes in which the broccoli seeds had been stored. The estimated value of the broccoli seeds is $22,750, said the Sheriff's Office. The seeds were returned to Growers Transplanting Inc. 

The District Attorney's Office has filed felony charges of possession of stolen property against Trejo. 

Gina Kim covers crime and courts for Santa Maria Times. Follow her on Twitter @gina_k210

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