By Mike Pomranz
June 22, 2017

If you’re going to operate a criminal network, you might as well dabble in a little of everything: car thefts, drug trafficking, kidnapping and, of course, stolen Nutella. All those turned up after a successful Canadian sting operation conducted not far outside of Toronto.

According to the Toronto Star, last week York police announced 23 people would be facing 137 charges after authorities recovered millions of dollars’ worth of contraband including the drugs cocaine, heroin and marijuana; a couple firearms; $200,000 in cash; 60 stolen vehicles including high-end cars like Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Porsches, BMWs and Lexuses; other stolen goods such as car parts, e-cigarettes and alcohol including crates of Moosehead beer; and an entire truckload of stolen Nutella valued at $30,000 Canadian (over $22,000 USD). “Yes, I said Nutella,” Det.-Sgt. Paul LaSalle of the York Regional Police clarified at one point according to the Star.

Dealing in chocolate hazelnut spread might seem beneath a group allegedly led by Balwinder Dhaliwal, a man known as “The King of Car Thieves” and the subject of his own episode of the History Channel crime show Mastermind. However, York police seem to think these people were sweet on any crime – even sweets. “If there was a profit to be made by this group, this group would jump on the opportunity,” LaSalle was quoted as saying. “I’ve never seen an investigation that did spiral into so many directions,” he later stated. I guess some people just can’t resist living in the fast lane of drugs, guns and Nutella.

Speaking specifically about stolen Nutella, officials said the illegally obtained spread would probably be sold for about 50 cents on the dollar. I supposed that’s a much better plan than settling for a free breakfast by stealing $22,000 worth of toast.