Series of strawberry thefts reported in Tochigi Prefecture as harvest season peaks


Tochigi prefectural police are investigating the theft of Tochiotome strawberries worth the equivalent of 200,000 yen. The theft, which occurred last weekend, is the latest in a series of thefts of the popular fruit.

Police said thieves targeted the popular variety as peak strawberry season is around the corner, Sankei Shimbun reported. Reports said a strawberry grower in Mibu Town, Tochigi Prefecture, planned to pick the ripened, ruby fruit at around 6:30 a.m. on Jan 29. However, the strawberries, weighing about 108 kilograms, had been stolen. 

Police believe the thieves broke into the greenhouse sometime between the night of Jan 27 and morning of Jan 29. 

Police said that since early January, there have been a series of strawberry thefts targeting the high-end Tochiotome variety from large-scale farms in Tochigi Prefecture.

© Japan Today

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Noooooooo! It means this is going to force the already ridiculous price of strawberries in supermarkets even higher. Will be reflected in fruit price inflation statistics too.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

It's time for a sting. I would like to see police in strawberry camouflage go deep undercover, it's the only way.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

¥200,000 wholesale. - What’s the the ‘street value’ of 108 kilos of ‘the sweet stuff’ in Japan ?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

¥200,000 wholesale. - What’s the the ‘street value’ of 108 kilos of ‘the sweet stuff’ in Japan ?

It'll be the retail price. Farm gate prices are a big secret lest the consumer realise how much they're being bilked and by how many middlemen.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

You know, for how easy it is to probably steal from harvests like these, I am surprised we don't see more crimes like this.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

¥200,000 wholesale. - What’s the the ‘street value’ of 108 kilos of ‘the sweet stuff’ in Japan ?

Wholesale, it appears to be Y1850 per kilo. Not that crazy when you consider regular strawberries sell for around Y500 for a small pack weighing maybe 100-200g at a big supermarket. I'm sure it's a lot higher for some fancy high end strawberries at a depa chika produce booth, which these may be.

We just received a gift of some fancy shmancy depa chika strawberries from a neighbor. I'll bet they cost at least Y3000.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yeah, that’s definitely cheap if you think of all the energy and la out that goes into strawberries. Is not like in ten US where they cost much less because of Mexicans laboring for peanuts

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Strangely, I don't remember this type of crime before the introduction of "foreign trainee workers."

There have been numerous cases recently of "foreign trainees" taking fruit, veg and livestock.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

It's a sweet heist.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Maybe some hungry birds?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Pretty sure that 200,000 JPY is just peanuts compared to the ridiculous mark up they put on one produce.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Not much pity, especially considering this happens every year and they seem incapable of doing anything about it. Plus, with the markup what it is vs. actual value, is it any wonder why they get stolen? If they only charged what the product was worth -- and it's NOT 200,000... probably about 10,000 tops... then no one would bother. They aren't stealing them to eat, or they'd just steal from somewhere else with less risk (okay, I guess there's not much risk here at all, since, again, it happens every year). They are doing it to resell them. Even if they sold them for one tenth they'd still make a fortune.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

There is a special place in hell for the thieving barstewards who do this, steal from hard working farmers who have put so much work into growing their crops, their livelihood, for it to be stolen by these lowlifes. If caught then old-fashioned justice should be applied.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Strawberry steals forever

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

This is berry serious news

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The article implies the fruit had not yet been picked, which suggests the thieves did the picking too. That sounds like hard work.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I can buy half a kilo of very sweet organically-grown strawberries for about $5, or ¥500. And the last time I was in Japan (three years ago) a single apple cost that much. Today, at my local produce store I bought 1.5 kilos of Granny Smith apples for ¥300. And we don't pay tax on food, unlike what the JGov forces on its people. Sooner or later - sooner, I hope - Japanese people will wake up to what's being forced down their throats. Pardon the pun. And the thefts will stop.

Don't get me going on those square watermelons, or tuna auctions. Stupid is as stupid does, as Forrest Gump said.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

A certain aspect of Japan's countryside has changed quite a bit over the last few years.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Noooooooo! It means this is going to force the already ridiculous price of strawberries in supermarkets even higher

If that's all you're worried about, it's either going to have no effect on price or actually make strawberries cheaper. First off, 100kg is a small fraction of the strawberries produced each day. Secondly, the stolen strawberries aren't taken from the market - they are sold in the same market at reduced prices, bringing the average price down, not up.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I like strawberry ice cream but not strawberries directly.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Foreigners, maybe?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

"Foreigners, maybe?"

Probably, and it wouldn't be the first time. If they've been involved with cattle rustling, then hey're probably involved in this too.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

For foreigners read 'Chinese and Vietnamese trainees'.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Nothing that a proper guard dog won't solve.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites