People are always looking for new ways to make money and while most of us take on a second job, there are a few among us who like to take the easy way out (sort of). Selling products in the black market can be a lucrative business and surprisingly, food items are often some of the most profitable.
Unlike electronics, food doesn't have trackable serial codes which means that once it's stolen, it becomes extremely hard to trace. Over the years, millions of dollars worth of food products have been reported stolen from all corners of the world and many of them were never recovered.
From chocolate to hamburger meat, here are 10 of the greatest food heists the world has ever seen:
1. The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist
Between 2011 and 2012, more than $18 million worth of maple syrup went missing from a Montreal, Canada factory after thieves stole 16,000 barrels of the sweet liquid. Although the production facility had minimal security and no cameras, the heist took more than a year to complete because those involved didn't want to draw too much attention. Authorities eventually arrested 26 people in connection with one of the biggest food heists the world has ever seen.
2. The Chocolate Lovers
Chocolate is delicious, so we don't blame these guys for going after a warehouse filled with the sweet treat. In 2014, 260 tons of chocolate disappeared from a Lindt warehouse in Milan, Italy in what was described as the "biggest robbery of its type." Two delivery guys were later arrested for the theft, but only about 50 tons of the confectionary was recovered.
3. The Muenster Cheese Burglar
In 2013, a man from Illinois was charged with grand theft after he made off with 42,000 pounds of Muenster cheese worth $200,000 from a Wisconsin facility. The crafty criminal almost made the perfect getaway by showing "official" paperwork before loading the cheese in his 18-wheel truck. Unfortunately for him, someone out smarted him and he was later arrested at the New Jersey rest stop. His plan? He was going to sell the cheese on the black market.
4. The Fowl Players
Back in 2013, a thieving duo from Atlanta made a clean getaway with $65,000 worth of frozen chicken wings, causing a shortage of wings for that year's Super Bowl events. Reports claimed that one of the thieves used a forklift to load the wings on a truck, while the other was on lookout. The wings were never found, but the food criminals were put in the slammer after being charged with felony theft.
5. The Hamburglars
New Jersey police were once again forced to deal with another food heist in 2013, except this time the burglars and their meaty loot were never found. The thieves were caught on camera stealing a shipping container holding $100,000 worth of hamburger meat.
Believe it or not, there are even more bizarre food-related thefts.
6. The Walnut Job
In Fall 2012, 140,000 pounds of walnuts was taken from a Northern California farm. The nuts were believed to have been stolen by the driver, who collected them for delivery. Unfortunately, both the thief and the walnuts were never recovered, costing the victims over $300,000.
7. The Meat Gang
Robbers stunned police in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada when 40,000 pounds of beef was stolen from a truck yard back in 2013. The culprits have still not been caught and the meat is also still missing.
8. The Soup Snatchers
A Florida man was arrested in April 2013 after a 30-mile highway chase because he snatched $75,000 in Campbell's soup cans from a truck stop. The county judge, Jay Hurley told the thief, Eusebio Diaz Acosta, that this was the first time the "court's ever seen $75,000 worth of soup stolen."
9. The Spirited Robbers
Pappy Van Winkle, a bourbon made by The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, is one of the world's most expensive spirits. Only 7,000 cases are produced per year which also makes it extremely hard for people to get their hands on a bottle. So as you can imagine, the bourbon is much sought after by thieves too. In October 2013, thieves made off with 65 cases of the spirit from the distillery, valued at over $100,000. It turned out that the theft was an internal job and went on unnoticed for several months. Police eventually arrested 9 people who were responsible for the large-scale robbery, but only 18 cases were accounted for.
10. The Sweet-toothed Swindlers
Apparently Nutella is a hot commodity that's worth stealing tons of. In 2013, thieves in Germany got away with stealing 5 tons of the spread, valued at $20,000. Then just a few days ago, it was reported that once again in Germany, a gang of sweet-toothed thieves managed to haul away a truck filled with 20 tons of chocolate, including 49,301 jars of Nutella.
Do you know of any other odd food heists? Let us know in the comments!