Police in Nakagawa-cho, Hokkaido, are investigating the theft over the weekend of about 20 kilograms of white asparagus just before the spring harvest.
According to police, at around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, the president of Uemura Green Agricultural Products was about to begin work when he noticed that the white asparagus plants in one of the greenhouses were all gone, Sankei Shimbun reported. He immediately notified police.
The thieves cut the asparagus plants at the stem with a sharp blade. The wholesale value of the stolen 20 kgs is estimated at 40,000 yen.
Police believe the theft occurred between 5:30 p.m. and midnight on Saturday. The stolen asparagus plants were scheduled to be harvested on Sunday and Monday.
Police said they will strengthen patrols around greenhouses during the night. The targeted greenhouse neither required a key to enter inside nor was it equipped with security cameras.
Mikio Uemura, president of the agricultural co-op that owns the farm, told reporters: “This is the first time I’ve experienced theft. Whoever did it must have some agricultural knowledge.”© Japan Today