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Man arrested in connection to stealing beehives in 5 states

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“Town Crier” newsletter – Briefs from the Region (2) – 6/17/20

Perry David Bayes, 56, was arrested in Lincoln County, Washington, for his alleged role in stealing dozens of bees across the states California, Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana. The operation proved quite lucrative, with those hives fetching more than $200,000, reports the Associated Press. “The case has the potential of over 30 victims spread across California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington,” the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office told the Bellingham Herald. Bayes alleged illegal activity, which amounted to a charge of possession of stolen property in the first degree, a class B felony, began to unravel when a Lincoln County beekeeper filed a report with the sheriff’s office. “The victim went to retrieve his hives and they were gone,” Lincoln County officials said. “The investigation soon led to some tips and the ‘sting’ was set up, resulting in the arrest and a ‘very sweet’ ending.” Remarkably, there are “beekeeper chop shops” in many states, as they can be quite valuable, as was the case in 2017 when a California man was accused of stealing nearly $1 million worth of hives from almond orchards.

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