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Brazen wire thieves increase their tempo

Date Posted: 2010-05-28

It stopped for a while, but thieves specializing in ripping off electrical wiring are hard at work, hitting Okinawa and Uruma Cities.

The lucrative business—one kilogram of electric wire sells for ¥450~500, according to a metal recycling shop—is centered on stealing the wiring from flower farms and other plant nursery operations. A series of six thefts have taken place in the last several months, including several bold daylight robberies, at farms growing chrysanthemum flowers in Uruma City.

JA Okinawa City says the latest half-dozen thefts have cost ¥560,000 thus far this Spring. Officials say the thieves wear farmer work clothes as they venture into the farms and steal the wiring. One farmer says he’s personally lost ¥2~3 million in business because, without the wiring to power the lights to help the flowers grow, the amount of flowers he has been able to grow has dropped.

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