Police in Toronto busted a high-profile crime ring and found some unlikely contraband among the nearly $5 million worth of stolen goods. Along with 60 luxury automobiles, drugs, guns, and cash, police discovered a truckload of Nutella with an estimated value of $16,000, according to the Toronto Star.
The investigation apparently began with a single auto theft, eventually growing to include multiple vehicle thefts, cargo heists (including the Nutella), and a kidnapping plot. One officer told the Star, “I’ve never seen an investigation that did spiral into so many directions.”
Police have brought 137 charges against 23 people, including a longtime suspect dubbed the “King of Car Thieves,” 60-year-old Balwinder Dhaliwal, who was featured in a true crime series on the History Channel, as USA Today reported.
While Nutella seems innocuous compared to the cocaine, marijuana, and heroin also seized in the bust, the value of the hazelnut spread is irrefutable: A poor hazelnut harvest this year has led to a nearly 38 percent increase in Nutella prices, and this isn’t the first Nutella heist. In 2013, thieves in Germany stole 5.5 tons of Nutella amid rising prices, and just last year police in Italy thwarted another Nutella theft. Nutella production is also credited with causing a hazelnut shortage in 2014 that also caused prices to surge, so maybe this Canadian crime ring was onto something more than snacking.
• Police Bust Auto (and Nutella) Theft Ring, recover $5 million in Goods [Toronto Star]
• $16,000 of Nutella Found During Canadian Drug Trafficking Sting [USA Today]
• More Crime Coverage [E]