Police recently arrested a man they say was involved in beehive thefts in multiple states. He is facing a first degree charge for possession of stolen property, which is a felony. The first of possibly 30 or more thefts purportedly took place in Washington.
The owner of a pollination business says he realized that approximately 200 hives had gone missing some time in April 2020. He notified his local police department of the loss, which he cited as worth around $25,000. In May 2020, another Washington beekeeper reported that someone had stolen 148 of his hives across two different counties.
After the second beekeeper allegedly tracked down 128 of his missing hives, authorities concluded that a 56-year-old man was possibly taking hives and reselling them to other bee farms. Some of the missing hives had had their original logos and brandings covered or painted over. Others had been completely destroyed, and the bees were moved to different containers before being sold.
Things came to a head when two beekeepers allegedly spotted the defendant removing beehives from a farm and called the police, who responded to the scene and arrested the man. He is facing a felony charge because of the value of the items involved in the thefts, which can have severe criminal consequences. In order to minimize some of those consequences — such as fines and jail time — it is a good idea for a defendant in this situation to begin working on a criminal defense foundation in as timely a manner as possible.