I saw this posted on a beekeeping group on face book. They had photos and info. Figured I'd share the info here for any who have had hives stolen.
Yesterday I recieved a phone call from the District Attorney's office in Fresno California who have basically uncovered a crime ring involving multi states from Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California and an astronomical amount of hives that have been stolen. In one pic there is a brand NW Bee. Please share in the beekeeping world to get the word out, they want to find the owners of what has been stolen as well as getting any information they can to help prosecute. As a beekeeper you know how much time, money and care that goes into your hives, it is sad to see all of these that have been basically destroyed.
An update on the post..
The thieves would steal the hives pallets at a time, bring them to the Fresno area, broker with an unsuspecting farmer, place the bees for pollination and collect their large check using the stolen equipment……the pile in North Dakota is the stock pile of spares and extras they would use to split the hives as well as those they had used up and lost the bees
The lower paragraph was copied and pasted from the investigator Douglas Bolton with contact info. Again please share in the beekeeping world to help find the owners!
If anyone had thefts in the 2015-2017 time frame have them reach out. Or if any keepers or farmers have had any contact with unknown Russian keepers.
Senior Investigator Douglas Bolton
Fresno County District Attorney’s Office
2220 Tulare St. Suite 1000
Fresno, CA 93727