When the average Joe thinks about the black market, the images that often come to mind are livers being hustled through streets in styrofoam coolers or fake Fendi purses falling off the back of box trucks. But, in fact, all sorts of stuff finds itself on the illegal superhighway, including tons upon tons of edible contraband.
According to FreightWatch International, a global logistics company that keeps track of these things, food and drink made up a whopping 22% of all cargo thefts worldwide in 2015’s third quarter alone, accounting for nearly $800,000 in losses. Those ain’t no small potatoes. So, why are people risking it all to boost a few bites? Because it’s damn lucrative, that’s why. With tightly controlled distribution processes, federally regulated farming practices, and widespread shortages, moving 140,000lbs of free nuts is guaranteed cash money. And that’s what makes the world go round, right? (Er -- money, not nuts.)
Here’s a brief rundown of the most impressive -- and most ridiculous -- culinary heists of all time. So remember, the next time you drench your pancakes in some tasty Grade A Canadian maple syrup, you might just be an accomplice to a serious federal crime.