A Californian beekeeper has been charged with stealing nearly 200 pounds (91 kg) of beeswax from the farmer who employed him, to melt it into blocks and sell it to support his drug habit, in what local police say is their first arrest for pilfering the substance.
Karl Robert Glick from Chowchilla was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of burglary and possessing stolen property after deputies found the stolen beeswax at his home, said Erica Stuart, a spokeswoman for the Madera County Sheriff's Department.
"This is a bonafide agricultural theft," she said.
Glick, 26, reportedly melted the wax into blocks so he could easily sell it, Stuart said.
Investigators believe Glick may have stolen and sold wax to support his drug habit, Stuart said.
A Fresno-based company had apparently purchased the wax, which sells for about $3.20 per pound.
Although deputies have investigated thefts of bee hives, this incident was the first involving beeswax in Madera County, Stuart said.