Three people have been arrested and five others are being sought in connection with the theft from a warehouse in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, Quebec Provincial Police said in a statement Tuesday. The theft occurred between August 2011 and July 2012, police said.
Two-thirds of the syrup was recovered, according to a police statement. The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, which bills itself as keeper of the global strategic maple syrup reserve, said in August that up to 10 million pounds of the sweet stuff was in the warehouse from which the theft occurred but could not say exactly how much was missing. The total value of all the syrup in the warehouse was put at $30 million.
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 a statement in August.
The barrels that originally contained the syrup were empty, meaning it was somehow transferred to other containers to complete the theft, the federation said.
Police said Tuesday that they had seized vehicles that were used to transport the stolen sticky stuff as well as carts, lifts, scales and kettles.
They said their investigation of the thefts covered the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario as well as the northern United States. Almost 300 people were interviewed as part of the investigation, police said.
As much as 80% of the world’s maple syrup comes from Quebec, the federation says.
By Brad Lendon
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