Tuscola Co. Sheriff’s Department investigating beehive vandalism

Tuscola County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a vandalism in Wells Township where a suspect allegedly knocked over several beehives near Frankford and Mona roads.

On Thursday, Dec. 22, five bee containers at the home of Steven Bennick were reported to be intentionally vandalized by an unknown suspect. The vandalism caused up to $1,000 in damage, according to a Facebook post by Tuscola County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the post, the family is offering a $500 reward to anyone who can help in the arrest and conviction of the person who caused the damage.

Bennick told The Advertiser the hives were down between 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21 and around noon Thursday when one of his children told him the hives were down.

Bennick, 65, said he doesn’t know why anyone would do this to his hives. The Bennick family has had honeybees for about eight years.

He said he doesn’t know how the bees were impacted or how this situation would impact the area where he lives or his neighbors. “I have no idea,” Bennick said.

Knocking over the hives could have possibly contaminated the honey so out of precaution, Bennick said he would not sell it.

“I would like the people to know whoever did it, what the perpetrator did was not right,” said Bennick. “They trespassed on private property and vandalized something that doesn’t belong to them. And from my perspective if it doesn’t belong to you, leave your hands off it.”

One of Bennick’s neighbors, Bill Redmond, was not aware of the incident but said there has been unwanted activity in the area.

“I didn’t hear about it but I do know we’ve had people hunting on our property without permission,” Redmond said about the trespassing incident that happened a month ago.

Redmond said an unknown person was hunting in the woods behind his home. Since the incident, he said he hasn’t seen anyone else.

“We haven’t experienced any of it (vandalism) here but it’s kinda nice to know,” he added. “We can keep a closer eye out.”

Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene said with this kind of vandalism, the potential charges could be malicious destruction of property. Consequences to the suspect would depend on the damage caused, he added.

If the damages were $1,000 or more it would be a five-year felony, but if destruction was $200 to $1,000, it equals a one-year misdemeanor.

“It’s something that’s really senseless,” said Reene. “Why someone would do that doesn’t make any sense. There’s no reason for that to occur.”

If anyone has any information about the vandalism or a suspect in mind, call Sgt. Ryan Pierce of Tuscola County Sheriff’s Office at 989-673-8161 extension 2229.

Debanina Seaton is a reporter for The Advertiser and can be reached at debanina@tcadvertiser.com.

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