After six months of investigations, police in Zhongliao Township, Nantou County have arrested a 39-year-old man for stealing bananas from local farms, Apple Daily reported.
The man, surnamed Hsiao, was caught after police set up a LINE group for local farmers to inform authorities about thefts, which improved trust and communication in the community. He had been a suspect in the thefts since February and was caught with 50 kg of bananas.
Authorities estimate that he made a profit of NT$50,000 (US$1,658) from the stolen bananas, which were taken in evening raids on farms around Nantou County.
Police said that Hsiao would stake out banana plantations during the day and leave markers along the road to which he would return in the evening to make the theft easier.
Since October last year, the price of bananas has increased and so have incidents of theft. At the end of April, a ton of bananas were stolen from a Nantou County warehouse.
Zhongliao Township has more than 1,300 hectares of banana plantations. To aid with monitoring such a large area, police created a LINE group, which they say improved patrols and led to Hsiao’s arrest.