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Thieves Steal $43,000 Worth of Comté Cheese from French Dairy

Authorities are mystified by the crime.

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Earlier this week, thieves in France made off with four tonnes or just over 8,818 pounds of Comté cheese. L'Est Republican reports the theft took place in Goux-les-Usiers, a region in Doubs in Eastern France where Comté, a hard, aged cheese is produced. The cheese sells for about 40 Euros or $43 USD per pound. But the police are stumped: How will the thieves sell this cheese — which is worth more than $43,000 USD — on the black market?

The Telegraph reports that the amount of cheese stolen mean it's likely to reach restaurants in other markets outside of France in the coming days and weeks, though authorities aren't sure exactly how they'll, ahm, sniff out the bandits. Unfortunately, the thieves seem to not have left any kind of trail behind them, as robbers in upstate New York did earlier this year when they stole $29 in cash from the register of a Build-A-Burger & Ice Cream restaurant and left a trail of macaroni salad behind them. Among restaurant crimes, napkins are the most-often stolen item. Both chefs Jamie Oliver and Grant Achatz (Alinea, Next) have reported excessive napkin thefts in the past.

In the food world, bandits generally target alcohol, as it's in high demand and commands a high mark-up. In April, authorities convicted nine people for their alleged involvement in stealing over $100,000 of hard-to-find Pappy Van Winkle whiskey. This spring, $56,000 worth of wine was stolen from a top Chablis producer in France. Maybe these two gangs of bandits should get together and throw a massive wine and cheese fête.

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