Hanover police are investigating an odd crime: someone stole a dozen bee hives - and the bees - from a man's backyard.
"I have not seen or heard of a theft like this in my career," Hanover Police Lieutenant Dwayne Smith said.
Smith said the theft happened Sunday night sometime between 9-10 p.m. at Troy Shearer's home in the 100 block of Centennial Avenue.
"A neighbor actually witnessed two men carting the bee hives out of the rear yard and loading them into what is described as a newer model white van, possibly a Chevrolet," Smith said.
Shearer said he owned the hives for several years.
"I did it as a hobby," he said, "but I was hoping to turn it into a business and make some money."
Shearer belongs to the Pennsylvania Backyard Beekeepers Association. An alert to the theft was sent out to more than 300 members. Randall Phelps, a beekeeper in New Cumberland, received the alert.
"We know who makes hives and sells hives in the area," Phelps said. "We would know if something strange was going on. We are on the lookout for that equipment and if we see it or somebody hears about it, we will drop the dime."
"I think it would be difficult for someone to unload that many bee hives without attracting some attention, so we are hopeful that we will get some information," Smith said.
Anyone with information may call Hanover police at 717-637-5575.