GIFU -- Some 60,000 persimmons have been stolen from an orchard in this central Japan city, Gifu Prefectural Police's Gifukita Police Station announced on Oct. 21.
According to the police station, a male farmer, 63, in the city made an emergency call at around 12:50 p.m. on Oct. 18, and was quoted as saying: "Persimmons have been stolen from my orchard. Almost all of them are gone." Police confirmed that some 60,000 persimmons of the Fuyu variety, worth about 3 million yen (roughly $26,000) at market price, had apparently been stolen.
The orchard is about 990 square meters large. Branches of the persimmon trees were cut off with what appear to be scissors. When the farmer checked the orchard on the afternoon of Oct. 11 there were no abnormalities.
There has been a spate of persimmon theft cases at orchards and unattended shops in Gifu Prefecture in this season every year, and the prefectural police had been increasing their vigilance. Police are investigating the case as a theft.
(Japanese original by Sawako Kumagai, Gifu Bureau)