Hawke's Bay police have arrested a man and charged him with a large-scale honey theft after exectuing a search warrant in Hastings this morning.
The 41-year-old male was due to appear in the Hastings District Court today faced with charges relating to theft of honey and associated products, including allegedly receiving approximately $40,000 worth of honey.
Beeswax, a shotgun, and ammunition were also located during the search.
Senior Sergeant Mike Stevenson of the Eastern District Command Centre said police recognised the impact thefts could have on hardworking business-people and the local community.
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"While investigations remain ongoing, Hawke's Bay Police are pleased to be able to hold this male to account."
Apiculture New Zealand chief executive Karin Kos said today's arrest was a good outcome and sent a clear message that police were taking honey and beehive theft seriously.
"Honey and beehive theft has become a growing issue for New Zealand beekeepers over the last few years, with the total value of these thefts estimated in the millions,
"It's devastating for those beekeepers targeted by thieves and we're pleased to see the police make this significant arrest."
Ms Kos said Apiculture New Zealand and police have been working together to address the issue, including improving intelligence at a national and regional level and educating beekeepers on actions to help keep their honey and hives safe.
Police encouraged anyone with information relating to the theft of honey to contact Police through their local station or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.