Thieves Make Off With Millions’ Worth of Experimental Apples

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Scientists say thieves stole their research apples
Wikimedia/Harald Bischoff

Thieves made off with an entire crop of experimental apples.

Scientists in China were working on a project to develop more attractive apples, and it looks like the project was a success because the apples looked so appealing that thieves came and stole every last one from the experiment orchard.

According to Shanghaiist, researchers in the department of Fruit and Tea Research at the Qingdao Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Shandong province were raising red apples on three “lab trees” in a village orchard as part of a four-year experiment. They were trying to develop apples that were more delicious and more visually appealing, and that could be grown without wrapping the fruit in paper, which would save growers money.

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The first harvest was expected this week, but when the researchers went to visit the field they found their trees were bare. Someone had picked every piece of mature fruit from the lab trees and left only a few premature apples on the trees.

The researchers say their lab apples could have saved farmers hundreds of millions, and were worth more than they could possibly have been sold for. Police were notified, but nobody expects to see the apples again.

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