Photo/Illutration Saitama prefectural police investigators carry seized items out of a housing complex in Isesaki, Gunma Prefecture, on Dec. 2. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

SAITAMA--Saitama prefectural police on Jan. 19 rearrested two former technical intern trainees from Vietnam on suspicion of stealing more than 180 pears from a farm in Kamikawa, Saitama Prefecture.

Nguyen Huu Tho, 28, a male, and Do Thi Hao, 38, a female, who are residing in Isesaki, Gunma Prefecture, had been arrested and indicted on suspicion of overstaying their visas in violation of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law.

The police believe that the suspects stole pears for resale purposes and will investigate if the theft is related to similar incidents where thefts of fruit and livestock were reported in succession in the northern Kanto region last year.

Both suspects have apparently known each other for some time.

“I can say nothing as of now,” Nguyen said.

Do admitted to the charges and said, “Nguyen asked me to go to steal together and we went to the pear farm. We put pears into plastic bags. Four of us stole them.”

Both said that they have been unable to return to Vietnam because they did not have the money.

According to the police, the two are suspected of stealing 182 pears, which are valued at 72,800 yen ($700), with others at the farm in Kamikawa between Sept. 4 and 5, 2020.

In December, the police searched a housing complex in Isesaki on suspicion of theft of the pears and arrested Nguyen and others there. Police later arrested Do at the Immigration Services Agency.