$400,000 of Stolen Nuts Latest in Odd Food Heists

PHOTO: Two truck loads of walnuts valued at around $300,000 and nver made it to the original destination, Oct 2012, in Los Molinos, Calif.
James Harrop/Getty Images

Hamburgers, chicken wings and cheese have one thing in common, and it's not a summer barbecue.

These are all categories of food that have been reported stolen in mass quantities from manufacturers and shipping yards.

In the past year, thieves made away with other large amounts of foodstuffs. Retail values of the goods ranged from $20,000 to $400,000.

From burger patties to Canadian maple syrup, we've gathered some of the strangest food theft stories here.

PHOTO: Walnuts for sale at the Farmers Market in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Universal Images Group/Getty Images
$400,000 Worth of Walnuts

California's fourth-biggest agricultural export, walnuts were the latest target of food thieves in Escalon, a city about 88 miles east of San Francisco.

The thieves stole 140,000 pounds of walnuts worth $400,000 on Nov. 3 from grower GoldenRiver Orchards, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Walnuts are worth about $2 a pound to farmers, up from about $1.85 last year, the Times reported.

This may be the biggest heist of walnuts the state has seen so far. Last month, 12,000 pounds of walnuts worth $50,000 were stolen from a trailer north of Sacramento. But below you can read more about a $300,000 walnut scam in 2012.

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$25,000 in Kentucky Bourbon

Cops believe the theft of more than $25,000 worth of a rare Kentucky bourbon was an inside job.

Some 65 cases of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle were stolen from the Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort, Ky., on Oct.15.

Just 6,000 cases of the hooch are distilled a year. A bottle retails for about $130, but can sell for four times that on the secondary market.

Buffalo Trace recently warned customers that production could not keep pace with demand, sending prices and interest in the brand soaring.

No suspects have been named in the theft.

Weird Large Scale Food Heists

$100,000 in Hamburger Patties

A "patty" thief stole a refrigerated trailer containing 3,000 cartons of hamburger patties from a New Jersey shipping yard this week, according to New Jersey police.

Authorities were called to the scene last Tuesday, when the shipping yard's owner alerted them to the missing burger patties worth $100,000, according to the police report.

Capt. James Sarnicki of the Linden Police Department told ABCNews.com that the patties, which originated in Kansas City, Mo., were bound for the Netherlands.

"We notified all law enforcement agencies in New Jersey and the state police cargo theft unit," Sarnicki said. The FBI was also notified, but no arrests have been made.

Detectives are looking into the possibility that someone at the shipping yard tipped off the burger thief. "Nothing has been recovered," Sarnicki said. "We suspected some organized criminal enterprise."

Surveillance footage showed a tractor truck hooked up to the trailer and leaving the shipping yard with the beefy load.

Sarnicki said, jokingly, "If there was a trailer of cheese stolen and burgers were stolen, we know there's a connection," referring to the March theft of 21 tons of cheese from a Wisconsin cheese company.

Weird Large Scale Food Heists

PHOTO: Police arrested a man accused of stealing a tractor trailer containing $75,000 worth of soup.
Getty Images
$75,000 Worth of Soup

One man in Florida had the soup of the day -- $75,000 worth of it.

Florida highway patrol stopped a truck packed with soup on the Florida turnpike April 6, and the driver was accused of stealing the truck – and the soup. The vehicle was being tracked by GPS.

Sgt. Mark Wysocky of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles told ABCNews.com that the Lessors Inc. tractor trailer and the soup have a total value of $350,000.

Weird Large Scale Food Heists

PHOTO: About 11,000 pounds of Nutella were stolen from a truck parked at a former train station in Niederaula, Germany, April 6, 2013.
Amazon

Who could blame thieves for stealing 11,000 pounds of creamy Nutella goodness?

The chocolate-hazelnut spread was stolen April 8 from a truck parked at a former train station in Niederaula, Germany.

According to Osthessen news, about $20,000 worth of the spread and other goods were stolen. Police believe that the Nutella thieves transferred the truck's cargo to another truck.

Large-scale food thefts are not unheard of in this particular area in Germany: Five tons of coffee and a truckload of Red Bull energy drinks have also previously gone missing, according to Osthessen news.

Weird Large Scale Food Heists

PHOTO: Veniamin Balika, 34, of Plainfield, Ill., was accused of stealing 42,000 pounds of Muenster cheese from a Wisconsin cheese company.
Lew Robertson/Getty Images

A man faced the cheesiest of criminal charges in New Jersey.

The suspect was accused of stealing 42,000 pounds of Muenster cheese from a Wisconsin cheese company. He was arrested at a Bergen County rest area on the New Jersey Turnpike on March 25, the result of a joint investigation with the Saddle Brook New Jersey Police Department and the New Jersey State Police.

"He was charged with receiving stolen property and fencing," New Jersey State Police Sgt. Adam Grossman told ABCNews.com. Balika allegedly attempted to sell the load of 1,135 cases of cheese at the rest area.

Kevin Everhart, 50, owner of Pasture Pride Cheese in Wisconsin, where the cheese came from, said he did not realize the cheese had been stolen. "He came in with the proper paperwork," Everhart told ABCNews.com. "He came in as if he was picking up a shipment."

Weird Large Scale Food Heists

PHOTO: Dewayne Patterson and Renaldo Jackson were arrested for stealing $65,000 worth of chicken wings in Gwinnett County, Ga.
Paul Poplis/Getty Images

Maybe they were planning a really big Super Bowl party?

Two man were arrested and charged with felony theft in connection with the $65,000 theft of chicken wings in January.

The suspects worked at Nordic Distribution Center outside Atlanta., where the wings were reported stolen. The pair was allegedly seen by management backing a rental truck up to the loading area at the center and loading 10 pallets of Tyson frozen chicken wings onto the truck.

Weird Large Scale Food Heists

PHOTO: Quebec police arrested four men in connection with the robbery of 6 million pounds of maple syrup stolen from a Canadian warehouse in a heist spanning just under a year.
Getty Images

Last year was one sticky situation for the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers.

As many as eight men were suspected of being involved in a maple syrup heist in which 6 million pounds of maple syrup were stolen in a little less than a year.

The sticky substance was taken by thieves from a warehouse in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, Canada, between August 2011 and July 2012. Total mark value of the stolen syrup was about $18 million.

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup stored the overproduction of its 2011 harvest within the rented facility. The organization was unaware of the theft until the warehouse workers called to report empty syrup barrels.

Nearly two thirds of the stolen liquid was located in New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario, Canada. It was also believed that several million cans of stolen maple syrup were on U.S. grocery shelves.

Weird Large Scale Food Heists

PHOTO: Two truck loads of walnuts valued at around $300,000 and nver made it to the original destination, Oct 2012, in Los Molinos, Calif.
James Harrop/Getty Images

Police investigated the theft of $300,000 Calif. walnuts in October 2012, when two trucks containing the nutty cargo never made it to their destinations, according to ABC affiliate KRCR.

According to KRCR, the two truckloads were allegedly picked up at separate times by a driver with a Russian accent driving a white semi tractor trailer.

This description did not match the description of the driver that was supposed to pick up one of the loads, KRCR reported.

Each truckload was reported by KRCR to contain around 42,000 pounds of unprocessed nuts.

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