On Monday, the owner of Napier Dairy in the town of Goux-les-Usiers in eastern France woke up to find about 100 wheels of his really, really expensive Comtè cheese missing.
The lactose-loving larcenists were estimated to have looted about four tonnes of cheese worth around €40,000 ($43,500) from the dairy, and police believe the cheese will be sold on the black market for a quick buck.
The cheese thieves knew exactly what they were doing, Metroreports, cutting through barbed wire before forcing open the dairy's back door with a crowbar. "We heard nothing,” a neighbor told local media. “The people who did this, they must know the area."
Stealing cheese may sound really weird, but a 2011 study revealed that the most stolen food product in the world was cheese. And Comté is not your average cheese. It’s made from the unpasteurized milk of a fancy breed of cow called Montbéliarde et Simmental, who are probably fed fresh croissants and bathed in Chanel N°5. It’s also officially a protected cheese in France because it was awarded the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, which means it can only be produced in the Franche-Comtè region of the country.
Police are looking for any leads by focusing on recent thefts of large vehicles, because you can’t fit 100 wheels of cheese into your pocket.
“With such a quantity, you need a means of transport and a distribution network,” Head of the Chamber of Agriculture for the Doubs region, Daniel Prier, told The Local.
Unfortunately, the cheese bandits didn't leave a trail of baguette crumbs for anyone to follow, but hopefully the rightful owner gets reunited with his 100 wheels of Comtè soon to eat or sell as he pleases.
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