Police arrested a tomato grower in central Japan on Thursday on suspicion of stealing about 160 Chinese cabbages from a nearby field, as the price of the leafy vegetable has remained high in the country since late last year.
Ikuo Shiono, 40, is suspected of taking Chinese cabbage worth 80,000 yen ($750) on Jan. 29 and 30 from a farm field in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture.
Shiono has admitted to the allegation, saying he thought he could sell them at a high price if he took them to a market. He also said he was involved in three other Chinese cabbage thefts in the city in January and February, according to the police.
The police have found sales receipts for Chinese cabbages at Shiono's home and believe he took the stolen vegetables to a market within the city.
Prices of a number of common vegetables in Japan have soared due to autumn typhoons and a cold winter. As of late February, the prices of Chinese cabbage, cabbage and Japanese radish stood at more than twice those in an average year.
The farm ministry expects the prices of the two cabbages to remain high through March.