Three arrests in $20M maple syrup heist

Thieves stole a "large amount" of syrup from a warehouse north of Montreal, which stored 10 million pounds of Quebec's maple gold

Credits: TVA


MONTREAL — Quebec provincial police say they've solved a massive maple syrup heist.

Police say they arrested three people and are looking for five others after 10,000 barrels of maple gold, valued at $20 million, were pilfered from a warehouse east of Montreal between August 2011 and this past July.

"Two-thirds of the stolen syrup has been found," police said in a statement.

Richard Vallieres, 34, Avik Caron, 39, and a third unnamed suspect were to appear in court in Trois-Rivieres, Que., on Tuesday.

They face charges of theft, conspiracy to commit theft, handling of stolen goods and fraud.

Police say they seized vehicles used to transport stolen maple syrup and executed several search warrants in Quebec, New Brunswick, Ontario and several northern U.S. states. Officers also seized two forklifts, four syrup kettles, platform lifts and six electronic scales.

The maple syrup was stolen from a warehouse operated by Quebec's federation of maple syrup producers, police said.

Police believe the suspects pumped the maple syrup into tanker trucks and drove away from the heavily secured location.

Some of the sticky stuff was found in October at S.K. Export in Kedgwick, in northern New Brunswick near Quebec's Gaspe region.

Quebec produces up to 80% of the world's maple syrup every year, and the province's syrup producers federation has managed the world's strategic reserves for the past 12 years.

Quebec's harvest is spread out in different locations around the province as a precaution against theft.

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