Police in Chile nabbed a glacier thief who wanted to turn a national monument into cold, hard cash.
Five tons of ice that had been chipped off the Jorge Montt glacier, which is 1,100 miles south of Santiago, were found inside of a refrigerated truck last Friday.
The glacial ice was bound for restaurants and bars in Santiago where it would be sold at a premium and placed in cocktails, police told a Chilean newspaper.
The unidentified man will face charges of theft. Officials are especially concerned because the Jorge Montt glacier has been shrinking at a rate of half a mile per year.
“People seem to be willing to buy ice or water from glaciers or icebergs. And, if something is valuable, are you totally surprised to hear that someone somewhere has considered stealing some of it?” Richard Alley, a glacier expert at Penn State University, wrote in an email to ABCNews.com .
Alley said when glacial ice melts around bubbles, the bubble wall makes a popping noise, “releasing a little air that had been trapped in the bubble, perhaps for hundreds or even thousands of years.”