Millions of dollars in maple syrup stolen
As much as 80% of the world's maple syrup comes from Quebec.
August 31st, 2012
12:44 PM ET

Millions of dollars in maple syrup stolen

Talk about sticky-fingered thieves. They've struck in Quebec, snatching millions of dollars worth of maple syrup from a warehouse in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, between Montreal and Quebec City.

Up to 10 million pounds of syrup was in the warehouse, according to a statement from the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, which bills itself as keeper of  the global strategic maple syrup reserve.

Officials could not say exactly how much of the product was stolen, but a Quebec police official told The Globe and Mail it was a substantial quantity.

“We know that it’s millions of dollars that was stolen,” Sgt. Richard Gagné is quoted as saying. “It’s a very large amount.”

The 10 million pounds of syrup that was in the warehouse is worth more than $30 million, according to the federation statement.

The theft was discovered during a routine inventory check of the warehouse, which "had been secured by a fence and locks, and visited regularly," federation president Serge Beaulieu said in the statement.

The barrels that originally contained the syrup were empty, meaning it was somehow transferred to some other kind of containers to complete the theft, the federation said.

The warehouse where the theft occurred was being used to temporarily store the sweet stuff while a new facility was being prepared.

As much as 80% of the world's maple syrup comes from Quebec, the federation said.

Though the federation is insured for the loss, if the stolen syrup makes its way onto the market, it could hurt the group's 10,000 members.

"The marketing of the stolen maple syrup will affect the entire maple industry. It is crucial to identify those responsible for this crime," the statement said.

“Obviously those people stole the maple syrup to sell it somewhere,” federation director Anne-Marie Granger Godbout told The Globe and Mail. “If it’s a big volume, it could be very harmful for the maple syrup industry. The companies that are working in this industry will have to compete with some company that didn’t pay for the maple syrup.”

The federation said the theft shouldn't affect supplies available to the public.

"The sales agency's maple syrup inventory is spread across several storage locations which were not subject to theft," Beaulieu said in the statement.

The amount in the warehouse represents about one-10th of Quebec's 2012 harvest and more than 25% of the federation's stock, CNN affiliate CBC reported.

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Filed under: Agriculture • Canada • Crime • Food
soundoff (418 Responses)
  1. FA

    I am its Charlie from the Chocolate Factory.

    August 31, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bobcat (in a hat)©

    Looks like someone hand one hell of a sweet tooth.

    August 31, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      It was the waffle bot from Harold and Kumar. Probably Kumars doings!!

      August 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. poopfactory

    At least it's not a beer shortage.

    August 31, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. phearis

    The guy had a craving for flapjacks

    August 31, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. orlop

    So what they are saying is that there is price fixing in the maple syrup market

    August 31, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ann

    Buddy the Elf?

    August 31, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe User


      August 31, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. t-bird

    Give the trees back their blood!

    August 31, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MashaSobaka

    How the heck did they even pull this off?!

    August 31, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Russell

    Yeah, I'm with Ann, it was probably Buddy the Elf.

    Since we only use maples syrup and avoid the high fructose corn syrup crap, I'm just hoping they figure this out and catch the thieves. If not, every time I pore out some maple syrup I'm going to be wondering where it's been. You know these thieves aren't going to be concerned about safety and hygiene.

    August 31, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jeremy l

    Lets be realistic here..... if 10 Million lbs = 30,000,000,000..... Than 1 lb = 3.00$ . In order to steal "Millions of dollars worth" the thieves would have had to make off with no less than 345,000 pounds of syrup. Given your typical semi trailer has a legal load limit of about 40-70 tonnes (80,000 – 150,000 lbs) (depending on makeup) the thieves would have realistically had to show up with an armada of atleast 5 heavy duty, high load semi trailers. Not only that, you then have to account for the amount of manpower and time it takes to transfer 500,000 pounds of material into trucks without the use of forklifts.. Does THAT SOUND PLAUSIBLE?

    August 31, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeremy l

      And I didn't even get into the fact that the "thieves" are now responsible for having to sell a million dollars worth of maple syrup on the "black market". This whole thing is brimming with insurance fraud

      August 31, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy, how many wheels are there

      on an 18-wheeler?

      August 31, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • As a matter of fact...

      Over a period of time, yes it does. The crooks didn't siphon off all that sweet stuff overnight.

      August 31, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • HZ

      It's possible that this stuff was in concentrated form and they dillute it before going to market... or the people who purchase it do. Also, you have a good point about the size of the theft... you would need a large operation to steal that much. Maybe the stuff is really hidden on site... as in transferred to other containers with the wrong labels on them. Or the theft really occured before the original inventory was done and the people who did the original inventory were in on it.

      August 31, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • HZ

      As far as the problem of the 'black market'.... Stores like CVS/Walgreens have been caught selling stuff they bought cheap on the black market. Stuff like salon care products that the manufacturer never even wanted to sell in stores. Maybe CVS has some buyer somewhere who places 30 million dollar oders in some shady market place? CVS got busted in one case and had to pay damages.

      August 31, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Make mine blueberry

    All the cops have to do is find out who heisted the 4 semi-trailer truckloads of Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix. Case closed.

    August 31, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JMBrown

    Authorities suspect a marauding gang of outlaw bears.....

    August 31, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. brad1001

    Man I love that stuff. It's terribly expensive where I am. I suppose now that price will go up more. I hope the thieves teeth rot.

    August 31, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. the_dude

    How many trucks would be required to haul 10 million pounds???? You are telling me not one person noticed this????

    August 31, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. HZ

    Probably an inside job. Anybody else watch that old flick, 'Good Fellas' ? Lol. And if you have something worth 30 million bucks it may be worth hiring 2-3 well trained armed guards to watch it 24/7.

    August 31, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
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