Food

Violent Gang Steals Over 3,500 Pounds of Cheese Worth $23,000 From Farm

A Dutch cheese heist has resulted in hundreds of {dollars} misplaced and a stern warning to others to guard their merchandise.

The thievery reportedly occurred final week at a dairy farm known as Torenpolderkaas in Fijnaart in Noord Brabant, Netherlands, in line with native broadcaster Omroep Brabant. It resulted in over 3,500 kilos of stolen cheese amounting to roughly $23,000 in worth within the U.S.

Cheese heists are usually on the uncommon aspect, at the very least in phrases of massive volumes, however they happen worldwide. In 2016 in Wisconsin, about 160,000 kilos of cheese was stolen from a number of shops, in line with Vice.

Mashed reported in 2020 that about 4 % of cheeses worldwide are stolen, making it probably the most stolen meals on earth. Flipping the stolen cheese for resale worth was described because the prime purpose for thefts.

Cheese
A Dutch cheese heist has resulted in about $23,000 value within the U.S. of misplaced product. Officers mentioned the theft occurred at a dairy farm known as Torenpolderkaas in Fijnaart in Noord Brabant, Netherlands.
ABRAHAM GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ/Getty Pictures

Theo Dekker is chairman of the Affiliation of Farm Dairy Preparers, which takes care of the authenticity of merchandise like milk and cheeses. Cows, sheep, goats and buffalo milk is processed into a number of varieties of cheeses, along with buttermilk, yogurt, custard, butter and different recent dairy merchandise.

Dekker instructed Omroep Brabant that the theft has not solely made the group extra conscious of the potential of future thefts but additionally has put into perspective the lengths some teams will go to generate income—it doesn’t matter what form of cheese they can pilfer.

He mentioned the incident was half of a violent “well-organized crime” operation involving criminals that “already explored the farm shop a few days before so that they know exactly what to pack.”

“We are a bit afraid of this,” Dekker instructed Omroep Brabant. “They don’t shy away from entering a cheese farm with brute force. In no time they fill their bus and leave.”

Cheese is stolen as a consequence of its worth, Dekker added, saying that the completely different merchandise made out of uncooked supplies entice sure shoppers and ship a giant payday for thieves.

“It is of course never pleasant to have burglars in your yard,” he mentioned. “We know all too well how much craft is involved in the cheeses.”

The same theft occurred years in the past and was adopted by “a few quiet years” through which farms had been largely left alone.

Stolen cheese would not have a tendency to remain within the nation very lengthy, both. Dekker defined that such cheese finds its approach throughout the Dutch border into Jap Europe, the place it’s traded—comparable to in nations like Russia, the place financial boycotts prevented the sale of Dutch cheese “for some time.”

However promoting stolen cheese is tougher than it sounds, at the very least within the Netherlands. Dekker mentioned that is because of cheeses truly having distinctive registration codes that forestall resale whereas permitting for the tracing of cheese to their origins.

On-line gross sales are additionally monitored.

The code makes a distinction, as was evident by a cheese heist final yr that was caught inside quarter-hour at a Dutch market. The thief who was caught could have been an novice, nonetheless.

“The number is pressed into the rind and cannot be removed without damaging the cheese,” Dekker mentioned. “As a result, the thieves cannot sell the entire cheese in the Netherlands. But yes, if you cut off a piece, you can no longer see where the cheese comes from.”

Dekker advised for shops and farms to spend money on surveillance cameras and insurance coverage to stop future thefts.

Newsweek reached out to Dekker and different officers on the Affiliation of Farm Dairy Preparers for remark.

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