Six people were quickly arrested after stealing 2,000 plants of hemp for industrial use ... thinking it was cannabis, in the Gironde.

They will have to explain themselves to justice in November, we learned Sunday from the Bordeaux prosecutor's office.

Six people arrested this week will have to explain themselves to justice in November for having stolen some 2,000 plants of "hemp for industrial use" from a farm in Gironde, believing it to be cannabis, we learned Sunday with the Bordeaux prosecutor's office.

The six implicated began by stealing about 300 feet of this plant on the night of September 20 to 21 from a legal farm located in Aillas, in the south of the Gironde.

They returned the following night but the operators, who were monitoring their field after reporting the theft, were able to put them to flight and raise a license plate, according to the prosecution, confirming information from the Sud Ouest newspaper.

This did not discourage the six individuals, who returned again the following night, during which "they dug up between a hectare and a hectare and a half" of plants before being again surprised by the farmers.

One of the criminals, equipped with a hunting rifle, then fired in the air to scare the owners away, explained the prosecution.

"They got a little confused"

These six people - most of them unemployed, including two homeless - were quickly arrested the next day in Gironde and the Landes by the Langon (Gironde) gendarmerie, assisted by the Luxey (Landes) gendarmerie.

"They thought they had come across a cannabis plantation," one explained to the prosecution.

"They kinda confused" cannabis with industrial hemp, which looks the same but contains a very low dose of the psychoactive substance THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Hemp containing a rate greater than 0.2% of THC is prohibited in France.

The accused will appear on November 23 for "violence with a weapon" and "aggravated theft" (in a meeting), the judge of freedoms and detention not having followed the request of the prosecution to place them in pre-trial detention with a view to 'an immediate appearance.

They were released and placed under judicial supervision.