A nut job tried to run away with 75 pounds of almonds in Brooklyn — but he dropped them during his getaway and ended up getting busted by the Williamsburg Shomrim Patrol, law-enforcement sources said.
Juan Ayala, 35, allegedly grabbed three 25-pound cardboard boxes of the nuts from a parked delivery van in Williamsburg on South 8th Street near Bedford Avenue about 4 p.m. Sunday, according to a court complaint.
He tried to run off with the loot, sources said, but the 5-foot-8, 180 pound man ended up dropping the boxes on South 8th Street, sources said.
The driver called 911, but Ayala allegedly scampered off before the police could catch him.
But two hours later, Ayala smashed his 2010 silver Toyota Carrola into a parked, unoccupied van on Wythe Avenue and South 8th Street—about two blocks from the scene of the crime, sources said.
A person nearby spotted him trying to flee the accident, and called the hotline for Williamsburg Shomrim Patrol, which is a local volunteer civilian patrol, sources said.
The patrol held Ayala for the police—and the same cop who had rushed to the scene of the almond heist nabbed him, sources said. The van driver then identified Ayala as the would-be thief.
“I really [messed] up,” he allegedly told the police. He then bizarrely added, “I really [messed] up my relationship. But I didn’t break into the car.”
Authorities charged him with third-degree burglary, attempted petit larceny, and trespass, as well as leaving the scene of an accident.
One source said almonds are expensive, and go for about $4 a pound.
Ayala is currently being held at Riker’s Island, with bail set at $2,250, records show.
Law-enforcement sources say Ayala has a long arrest history, largely for drug possession and sale.