Food Crime on the Rise

Stolen: 65 cases (about 195 bottles) of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon. Photo © Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery
By Kate Krader Posted November 19, 2013

It's been a big year for booze and food heists. Thousands of jars of Nutella! Hundreds of bottles of outrageously good bourbon! Tons, literally, of Muenster cheese. None of it was safe. Let's get to the shocking details. Read more >

It's been a big year for booze and food heists. Thousands of jars of Nutella! Hundreds of bottles of outrageously good bourbon! Tons, literally, of Muenster cheese. None of it was safe.

Let's get to the shocking details.

Stolen: 65 cases (about 195 bottles) of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon
In October 2013, all that iconic 20-year-old bourbon, plus nine cases of 13-year-old Van Winkle Family Reserve rye were stolen from the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. The total value of the theft is said to be around $26,000 (that bourbon sells at auction for as much as $1,190 per bottle). A local high school principal (!) is being investigated on claims that he tried to sell the stolen booze to a Louisville, Kentucky, liquor store, but he argues that he was at the liquor store to inquire about purchasing it, not to sell it. The case is still under investigation.

Stolen: 384 pounds of marinated meat
A man broke into JK Kabab House, an Indian restaurant in Chicago and snatched hundreds of pounds of marinated chicken, lamb and beef in September. He tried to ride off to glory with the meat—about $800 worth—balanced in a bucket on the front of his bike; when that proved unwieldy, he switched to a shopping cart. It was all caught on a surveillance camera. Said Grub Street, "Police say they're now looking for a guy who's been doing a lot of grilling."

Stolen: 11,000 pounds of Nutella
With a street value of $21,000, 6,500 jars of Nutella were stolen from a parked trailer in the central Germany town of Bad Hersfeld last April. (The AP called it "gooey loot.") Maybe the thieves were throwing a massive post-rave brunch: A trailer full of coffee and a few tons of Red Bull disappeared from the same town in March.

Stolen: $75,000 worth of Campbell's soup
April was a big month for stolen cans and jars of beloved food items. That same month, a man stole a tractor-trailer full of the soup from a truck stop in Central Florida. He was caught when a trooper pulled him over just after passing through a toll plaza. He was charged with two counts of grand theft—the truck itself was worth $275,000. The all-important question I have: What variety of Campbell's soup did the guy try to get away with?

Stolen: 42,000 pounds of Muenster cheese
In March, a thief took 21 tons of the stinky cheese from the K&K Cheese creamery in Cashton, Wisconsin. (K&K says the Muenster was worth $200,000.) He made it all the way to the New Jersey Turnpike in a refrigerated truck full of the goods before he was caught. The cheese company declined to take the cheese back, fearing that it might be contaminated. It was decided that it would be inspected by New Jersey health inspectors and then donated to charity if it was found to be safe.

Related: Best Chili in the U.S.
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Best Biscuits in the U.S.

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