Cafe Society

Five weirdest food heists of 2012 -- and what would've made them even weirder

This year has seen some random -- and downright nutty -- food heists. Stealing enormous amounts of edibles is a strange crime, especially since rarely are the thefts committed to feed starving people or to make significant political statements. What sort of greedy, soulless riffraff steals pilfers foodstuffs? Since none of these crimes have been solved, that question remains unanswered...for now.

In the meantime, here are the five weirdest food heists of 2012 -- and what would have made them even weirder.

See also: - Five things you need to know about Mormons - Domino's next ad campaign?: Thief steals pizza & wings from delivery man, doesn't take money! - Open exactly one month, Skew skids to a close after employees allegedly steal from owner

5. Syrup siphoning.

In September the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers reported $30 million worth of missing maple syrup after a routine inventory came up with empty barrels. Canadian cops busted exporter S.K. Export Inc. and seized 600 barrels of the golden goop. The company's owner claimed he'd gotten the syrup from his regular suppliers, and since there is apparently no CSI-style lab testing available for maple syrup, the great syrup caper has not been resolved.

This heist would've been weirder if: The thieves had also ripped off $60 million worth of waffle: Leggo my f*ckin' Eggo, man!

4. Garlic got gone.

In the warmth of June, Austrian police stopped three reeking, overstuffed vans about to cross the border to Hungary and found them crammed with garlic. The cops quickly charged the five Romanian men in the vans with suspicion of receiving stolen goods, then ascertained that the pungent cargo had originated in Spain and was worth $37,500. (I wonder if they parked the vans in the regular impound lot, or ran them through eight professional-grade car washes first, because there ain't no little tree in the universe that will cover up that stank.)

This heist would've been weirder if: The thieves stole all that garlic with the intention of ending the Twilight saga early by murdering all its fans.

3. Deez missing nuts.

In October employees from freight brokerage firm F.C. Bloxom and Co. in Seattle contacted authorities to report that 80,000 pounds of walnuts -- worth $300,000 -- had not reached their intended destination in Miami. This disappearing walnut incident echoed a similar nut loss days earlier, when 40,000 pounds of walnuts left California but didn't make it to their destination in Texas. The police seem to think that the twin nut heists are connected, since both involved a fake delivery driver who managed to jack the nuts and disappear in a white semi truck.

This heist would've been weirder if: The thief/thieves hand painted the semi brown and named it "The Nutwagon" -- then led police on a high speed chase.

2. Chocolate melts away.

Right before Thanksgiving eighteen tons of chocolate bars disappeared from a factory in Bludenz, Austria, destined for delivery to the Czech Republic. The 33 pallets loaded with chocolate indeed left the factory, but it was determined that the paperwork for both the truck and the driver were forgeries. The heist was discovered after the first truck left -- and the actual then delivery truck showed up to pick up the chocolate (awkward.) The chocolate has yet to be recovered.

This heist would've been weirder if: The same thieves who carted off the nuts would meet up with these guys, and they could all make a bunch of Christmas candy.

1. Doggie-style disappearance.

On December 2 a small business in Atlanta was pillaged of $35,000 worth of dog food. The 20,000 pounds of "Pet Chef Express" dog food -- in 800 twenty-pound bags -- was hauled off after the industrious robbers reportedly cut a hole in the fence of the adjoining property, climbed through the warehouse window, and used a forklift to move the heavy pallets of doggie chow and load it on to a vehicle. This pack of thieves obviously had some kibbles & wits.

There were no cameras or alarms protecting the property, something the business owners no doubt regretted on December 3.

This heist would've been weirder if: The missing dog food was discovered the next day en route to orphanages in Montana -- or Arby's restaurants.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jenn Wohletz
Contact: Jenn Wohletz