1The thieves who made off with several thousands of dollars worth of cheese
Cheese, and lots of it, was stolen from a truck parking lot in Oak Creek, Wisconsin—and by "lots of it" we mean 20,000 pounds ($46,000 worth).
In June 2016, police received a call regarding the theft, and have been actively looking for the white semi with no distinct markings on it since. No word as to whether or not they were able to catch the culprits, but this isn't the first time there's been a large-scale cheese heist in the area. Six months earlier, $70,000 worth of cheese stolen in Germantown was later recovered in Milwaukee and sent to a landfill. And a week before that, $90,000 worth of parmesan was stolen in Marshfield — that's 41,000 pounds!
2The millions of dollars of maple syrup stolen from the "OPEC of the maple syrup world"
Is it the greatest maple syrup robbery, or one of the greatest robberies overall? In 2013, six million pounds of syrup—worth $18 million—was stolen from the Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve, a cache managed by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers.
The Federation is a legal cartel, which oversees about 75% of the world's maple syrup supply, maintaining large reserves to control global syrup prices. Quebecois farmers need the approval of the Federation to produce syrup to sell on the wholesale market. As a result, a black market for syrup is thriving, and that's likely what led some sticky-fingered thieves to siphon the Federation's supply.
How did they do it, you ask? The crafty criminals rented space in the syrup warehouse and, over the course of a year, stealthily siphoned the gooey goods while the guards were gone. 30 arrests were made in relation to the heist and two-thirds of the stolen syrup was eventually recovered. The rest disappeared into the marketplace.
3The employees who stole thousands of pounds worth of chicken wings
Chicken wings are a "hot" item on the black market and have been stolen in large quantities on more than one occasion.
In 2015, a father and son, Paul Rojek, 56, and Joshua Rojek, 33, both of Syracuse, stole more than $40,000 worth of wings from a New York restaurant where they worked and sold them on the street, or to other businesses. Both men were employed as cooks when they placed numerous wing orders with the restaurant's wholesaler. Officials say the Rojeks would later pick up the orders and resell them at a reduced price.
Two years earlier, Renaldo Jackson and Dewayne Patterson, of Gwinnett County, Georgia, stole $65,000 in frozen Tyson chicken wings from Nordic Cold Storage where they worked. One five-pound bag of frozen chicken wings sells for about $12.50—if you do the math, that's about 26,000 pounds of wings. Maybe they were hosting a pretty big Super Bowl bash?
4The men who posed as fish-care company employees to steal koi
Koi fish are highly prized in certain circles. It's rumored that collectors will drop as much as $25,000 on one championship fish and pit their prized specimen against others at competitions. Even low-end koi, like those you'd see at a pet store, cost about $6 each, so it's not much of stretch that someone would want to make a buck or two on the colorful carp.
Sometime between June 8-16 2016, two men stole about 400 koi from the pond at an office park in Herndon, Virginia outside of Washington, D.C. The men claimed to be from a fish-care company and were there to check on the health of the koi and cart away those that they deemed unhealthy. Instead, they pulled off the heist in broad daylight, under the gaze of security guards and office workers who enjoyed watching the fish swim around during their lunch breaks.
The total Herndon haul is worth at least $20,000. However, the fish are a hard sell on the black market. Specialist Bennie Wiegman said, "Koi have unique features and patterning and are often recognized. Therefore, it is most likely that either the koi are stolen by pond owners who do not have the financial means to buy these rather expensive fish, or koi are specifically ordered, probably from abroad."
5The organized crime leader who ended up with a truckload of Nutella
To be fair, if we were to commit the ultimate heist, Nutella is on our list right behind cash and jewels. However, this haul may very well have been an accident.
Toronto tycoon and organized crime member Bill "King of Car Thieves" Dhaliwal was involved in an intricate scheme involving stolen cars, drugs, and kidnapping. The majority of the stolen cars were expensive— Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Porsches, BMWs, and Lexuses were among the 60 vehicles recovered by police. Also recovered were e-cigarettes, alcohol, crates of beer and a truckload of Nutella valued at $30,000. No word as to if they knew what they were getting, but the ever enterprising criminals sold the jars of gooey, delicious hazelnut spread for 50 cents a pop. Nutty, huh?
6The woman who walked off with $2000 worth of beauty supplies
Tierra Hughley, 27, stole $2000 worth of nail polish and false eyelashes from a CVS in Hobe Sound, Florida. When the store clerk discovered she hadn't paid for the goods, he met her at her car. She briefly struggled with a sheriff's deputy and was charged with grand theft, driving without a license and violently resisting arrest. It was a real nail-biter! (Yes, we went there.)
7The man who took joyride with a truckload of soup
Did Eusebio Diaz Acosta know what he was getting when he stole a tractor trailer containing $75,000 worth of Campbell's soup? We'll likely never know—just the same, Acosta made off with the trailer and its "Mm! Mm! Good!" cargo. Police pursued him by helicopter and a K9 unit for nearly 30 miles on a South Florida stretch of the state turnpike before he was pulled over and arrested.
8The thieves who pretended to be mannequins to steal designer clothes from a department store
Thieves pretending to be department store dummies got away with stealing £10,000 worth of designer duds at a Beales store in Worthing, UK.
Like a scene from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, the thieves stood completely motionless for quite some time—that is, until staff had gone home and the store was empty. It was then they picked out what they wanted. Police were baffled as to how the gang, who are still on the run, got in or why they did not set off the alarm.
9The robbers who got away with 192 pumpkins
In October 2016, a van was caught on surveillance camera making three trips to the Farms View pumpkin patch in Wayne, New Jersey. The thieves inside absconded with 192 pumpkins.
The Kuehm Farm has operated in the area since 1894. Its stand and pumpkin patch are a favorite local destination and feature “Happy Jack,” an animated talking pumpkin, as well as seasonal treats such as apple cider and apple cider donuts.
The purloined pumpkins picked up by the perpetrators were worth between $2,500 and $3,000. A $1,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest.