Photo by Monty Rakusen via getty images

His accomplice is still at large

Sammy Nickalls
June 28, 2017

Instead robbing a store like normal criminals, two thieves in California have gone the niche route: bees. (Bees? Yes, bees.) The Los Angeles Times reports that 51-year-old Pavel Tveretinov and 48-year-old Vitaliy Yeroshenko conducted "a series of beehive thefts" around Central Valley almond orchards in Fresno County, California. Sure, stealing beehives may sound like a particularly weird (and potentially painful) way to live a life of crime, but allegedly the stolen beehives are worth over $200,000. 

The duo supposedly stole over 1,200 beehives in total. That’s a lot of bees. Beekeepers all around the area had been reporting hive thefts to authorities for over a year. As the Times reported:

The thefts triggered concerns throughout the apiary industry, and an advisory went out to beekeepers, bee brokers and almond growers urging them to stay vigilant. Authorities had been investigating the thefts for months, and then they finally got a break in the case on April 28. When detectives visited an orchard in Fresno to follow up on a theft report, they spotted Tveretinov in a beekeeper suit tending to more than 100 beehives.

According to the Fresno County Sheriff's office, Tveretinov was arrested and was found to be behind a "$1 million beehive theft operation." While Tveretinov is being held in Fresno County Jail, police are still looking for Yeroshenko.

Reportedly, Tveretinov waited until nighttime, when bees go dormant, to steal the hives and move them onto flatbed trailers. Authorities claim he likely rented them out for money. The pair may face over ten years in jail.

You May Like