MONTREAL – There have been arrests in the case of a massive maple syrup heist, police announced Tuesday as they celebrated a break in their months-long multi-jurisdictional search for the stolen sticky stuff.
Read Tim Shufelt’s exclusive account of the robbery that revealed the sweet industry’s dark side.
Three people have been detained in connection with the theft of a large quantity of the national condiment from a warehouse in Quebec.
Police also seized vehicles suspected of being used in the illicit trafficking of the stolen syrup, along with equipment like scales and electronic lifts.
Those arrested are expected to face charges Tuesday in a Trois-Rivieres courtroom of theft, conspiracy, fraud and trafficking in stolen goods.
There are arrest warrants out for five other people.
“This investigation is not over,” Claude Denis of the Quebec provincial police said.
“It’s ongoing, and other arrests could follow.”
Officers from the RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement assisted the Quebec provincial police in the investigation — which featured interviews with 300 people in the maple syrup industry in Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and the northern U.S.
Police never disclosed the exact amount of maple syrup reported stolen in August.
But it’s known the loot came from a warehouse containing Quebec’s maple syrup stockpile, which was supposed to have been holding 4.5 million kilos valued at $30 million.
The theft was discovered during a routine inventory check at the warehouse belonging to the Quebec Federation of Maple Syrup Producers in St-Louis-de-Blandford, Que.
Most of the breakfast bootie has now been found.
“Two-thirds of stolen syrup was recovered,” Denis said.