NAGOYA – Police arrested a tomato grower in Aichi Prefecture on Thursday on suspicion of stealing about 160 Chinese cabbages from a nearby field, as the price of the leafy vegetable has remained high in the country since late last year.
Ikuo Shiono, 40, is suspected of taking Chinese cabbages worth ¥80,000 ($750) on Jan. 29 and 30 from a field in the city of Toyohashi.
According to the police Shiono has admitted to the allegation, saying he thought he could sell the produce at a high price. He also said he was involved in three other Chinese cabbage thefts in the city in January and February, according to the police.
The police found sales receipts for Chinese cabbages at Shiono’s home, and believe he took the stolen vegetables to a market within the city.
Prices of a number of common vegetables have soared due to autumn typhoons and a cold winter. As of late February, the prices of cabbages, Chinese cabbages and Japanese radishes stood at more than twice those seen in an average year.
The farm ministry expects the prices of the two kinds of cabbage to remain high through March.