When we think about highway robbery, we don’t usually mean actual highway robbery. But maybe we should—because cargo thefts from semi-trucks are a surprisingly common occurrence in the U.S. that result in, by some estimates, $175 million dollars worth of stolen goods per year. It also turns out that food is one the most frequently targeted items for would be truck-nappers, who find food items typically easier to resell than electronics and other consumer goods.
So what kind of food are we talking about? Check out some of the most interesting semi-truck food heists we were able to dig up below.
1. Nutella + Kinder Eggs
“Anyone offered large quantities (of chocolate) via unconventional channels should report it to the police immediately.” That’s an actual police statement that had to be issued after thieves used a “heavy-duty” truck to haul away a refrigerated trailer containing 20 tons, yes 40,000 POUNDS, of Nutella and Kinder Eggs in Germany earlier this month. Authorities say the desserts were valued at around $82,000, but we don’t know how you can really put a price on owning a truck filled with Nutella.
Seafood is one of the most commonly targeted food items for cargo thieves around the country, and the reasons are simple: 1) It’s valuable and 2) It’s easy to resell. In one instance, NBC Miami reported on a family-owned shrimp business that had 800 cases of shrimp stolen by the truck driver they hired to transport it. According to reports, the truck driver called the company to say that his truck had broken down and he’d been forced to toss the spoiled goods. What police discovered instead was that he had sold the $158,000 worth of seafood for $32,000 and pocketed the profits. Nothing fishy about that deal...
3. Cheese, Bacon + Meatballs
The holy trinity, as we usually call them. (We don’t usually call them that, but we might start.) Police in Ontario have yet to catch the criminals who broke into a refrigerated truck parked overnight and stole two 500 gram blocks of cheese, a five-pound case of bacon, and a five-pound bag of meatballs. It’s pretty small stakes as far as truck robberies go, but we do have to admire the style of these meat-and-cheese-loving thieves.
You want higher stakes that a couple pounds of meatballs and cheese? We give you The Million Dollar Lobster Heist (trademark not pending). Police arrested four men they say stole a transport truck, and then drove the stolen truck to a separate New Brunswick company where they attached and made off with a refrigerated shipment of lobster worth $1 million (Canadian dollars, but still). The police believe the theft was tied to a larger crime ring in Quebec that’s responsible for a string of other cargo shipment robberies.
5. Baked Beans
Baked beans may not sound like very valuable cargo, but if you make off with several thousand cans it’s not a bad haul. A crew of criminals in Britain scored big after they cut a hole into the side of a truck while it was parked on the shoulder of a highway in Worcestershire and stole 6,400 cans of baked beans, according to the Mirror. The thieves struck sometime in the middle of the night while the driver was asleep in the cab—between 8:45 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. Police haven’t yet apprehended the suspects, but asked for anyone who might have information to please come forward and, sigh, spill the beans.
Mmm, mmm, not good. Time reports that a man in central Florida was arrested after he stole a tractor-trailer loaded with $75,000 in Campbell’s soup cans from a state truck stop. Police were able to track down the stolen goods using the truck’s GPS system, where they eventually arrested Eusebio Diaz Acosta on two counts of grand theft. As the Broward County judge presiding over the case noted in his ruling “The court has seen many things stolen…this is the first time the court’s ever seen $75,000 worth of soup stolen.” Probably the last, as well.
We’ll go ahead and spare you the “Where’s the beef?” pun (don’t say we never did anything nice for you) and just jump right into this tractor-trailer heist. Canadian authorities found themsleves on the hunt for a man after he stole a cargo truck containing 40,000 pounds of beef from a commercial truck yard in Ontario. The stolen meat, estimated to be worth $100,000 or more, originated in Texas and went missing the day before it was to be delivered to a customer. Police have not yet been able to track down the cargo or the criminal, leaving everyone wondering...“Where’s the thief?”
C'mon. That's pretty good.
The Feast is Bravo’s digital destination serving culinary inspiration and essential food news. Like us on Facebook and visit daily for diet and wellness trends, kitchen hacks and tools — and the buzziest celebrity, chef, and restaurant happenings you need to know about right now.