Hong allegedly stole garlic, tomatoes, peaches, grapes and other produce worth 600,000 won ($529) on seven occasions from a truck parked at an apartment complex in Unam-dong, Buk-gu, Gwangju, on July 3.
The man, with a criminal record of 11 previous incidents, including theft, was released from prison in December, and has been homeless.
Hong told police in sign language that he “shared the stolen fruits and vegetables with people who were poorer” than him.
Police began the investigation upon repeated reports of stolen produce, and identified Hong’s face from his previous thefts.
Police requested a warrant to detain Hong as it was a repeat offense and because he was homeless.
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)