YAMAGATA -- Police in northeast Japan launched an investigation after an orchard owner discovered about 150 kilograms of high-grade cherries -- worth about 670,000 yen (approximately $6,215) -- picked from his trees in the early hours of June 29.
Yamagata Prefectural Police's Murayama Police Station is investigating the case on the suspicion that the cherries were stolen for resale.
According to the police station, the owner didn't see anything unusual when he visited the orchard in the Yamagata Prefecture city of Higashine at around 6 p.m. on June 28. Some 20 trees had their fruit picked, and police are looking into the possibility that multiple people broke into the orchard through bird nets covering the trees, as they have sustained a great deal of damage.
Yamagata Prefecture is renowned for its fruit, and similar thefts have been reported recently in the town of Yamanobe on June 9 and in the city of Yamagata on June 15.
(Japanese original by Genta Fujimura, Yamagata Bureau)