Japan arrests Vietnamese men for stealing "too-green-to-eat" melons

By Kim Thuy   June 22, 2016 | 05:25 pm GMT+7

Police in the Japanese prefecture of Chiba arrested six Vietnamese men for stealing 112 unripe melons from a farm in the remote eastern tip of the Boso Pensinsula on June 20, according to the Asashi Shimbun newspaper.

The men made off with the melons in the middle of the night on June 18, officers from the Asahi police station said.

The haul was valued at VND14 milion ($640).

Five of the men admitted the crime, saying they intended to eat the melons, but one denied any involvement. 

japan-arrests-vietnamese-men-for-stealing-too-green-to-eat-melons

The stolen melons on display. Photo by Asashi Shimbun/Yoshifumi Fukuda

The men targeted a brand of melon called Iioka Takami, a specialty of Asahi City, the police said.

Takami melons are usually harvested between the end of June and the beginning of July, and the stolen melons would have been too green to eat, according to a representative of the Iioka Melon Department of the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives Chibamidori.

Vietnamese people are gaining an unwanted reputation in Japan for crime. According to Japan Today, among the 5,000 thefts reported in the first six months in Japan, nearly 700 cases involved Vietnamese, the second highest number after China.