Maple syrup heist in Quebec threatens reserves
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Maple syrup burglars left behind only empty barrels and questions after pilfering from Quebec’s maple syrup reserves last week.
The heist was discovered during a routine inventory check at the St-Louis-de-Blandford warehouse, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers’ temporary storage facility for 10 million pounds of Canada’s sweetest export.
Worth $30 million, there was enough maple syrup in the warehouse to fill one and a half Olympic-sized swimming pools, or about 3.75 million litres, federation director Anne-Marie Granger Godbout said.
That would fill about 7.5 million bottles on grocery store shelves.
Evidently, the thieves broke through locks and a fence into the industrial location and siphoned the sappy substance into their own barrels.
The Sureté du Québec continues to investigate a week later, but there are few answers, Sgt. Ronald McInnis said.
He couldn’t confirm exactly how much syrup was stolen, although he said it was a “large quantity.”
The federation, which is responsible for the “global strategic maple syrup reserve,” fears the sticky-fingered burglars intend to sell the syrup on the black market.
“The marketing of the stolen maple syrup will affect the entire maple industry,” according to the federation’s news release. “It is crucial to identify those responsible for this crime.”
The thieves made off with the goods just in time — the federation planned to move the syrup to a new storage facility over the next few weeks.
Quebec produces 70 to 80 per cent of the world’s maple syrup, a volume that is critically important because of America’s “catastrophic” low harvest this year. About 75 per cent of Quebec’s maple syrup is exported to the U.S., Granger Godbout said.
This isn’t the first time maple syrup has gone missing, McInnis said. A few years ago a similar theft happened near Quebec City.