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Thieves arrested after trying to steal 200 pounds of lychee from Big Island Farm

By Mika Miyashima

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    HILO, Hawaii (KITV) — As lychee prices soar this season, some thieves are now targeting the fruit.

O.K. Farms owner Troy Keolanui said on Thursday morning, thieves tried to steal 200 pounds of lychee from his Hilo farm, valued at more than $1,000.

“A good person that works at Rainbow Falls saw a group of four people coming across the Wailuku river with duffle bags,” Keolanui explained.

He said a DLNR officer confronted the suspects, before police officers arrived on scene and arrested them.

“This is not your ‘jump your neighbors fence’ kind of lychee stealing, these are professional, serious guys,” Keolanui explained. “It’s a very poor lychee year for us this year. The value of lychee is very high. So, they’re going to be more encouraged to go and steal it.”

While Keolanui is grateful to have gotten his fruit back, he’s still dealing with the burden of it not being safe to sell anymore.

“It’s hard. We all know things are tough now. The cost of all the inputs to run a farm have gotten extremely high. So this kind of loss really hits home,”

Keolanui encourages people who shop local, to make sure they know where the produce comes from.

“I think it’s very important for people to be connected to and know that the people you’re buying your food from are reputable, and that they can be traced all the way back to the farm,” he said.

The incident is still under investigation.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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