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How Thieves Steal Thousands of Pounds of Cheese and Wine and Get Away With It

Listen to a podcast about food heists

The most famous food thief of them all
The most famous food thief of them all
Onion/Flickr

Stealing wheels of cheese isn't nearly as sexy as a jewel heist or a bank robbery, but nonetheless food-related thefts are a bustling industry for criminals. The latest episode of the Gastropod podcast takes a look at food heists, from ancient Greece to today's trends in food crimes (spoiler: truckloads of nuts and beehives are hot targets these days).

Co-hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley talk to Geoff Manaugh, author of a new book called A Burglar's Guide to the City, as well as an investigative journalist and an agriculture detective to find out what drives food thieves, and how it affects consumers.

One interesting tidbit: Fast food restaurants are convenient for burglars because every location of a particular chain is generally the same, from the construction of the building to managers' schedules. Also: find out how potatoes have been used in bank vault heists in Scandinavia, and why restaurants posting their wine lists online can make them a target for criminals.

Other fascinating info covered by Gastropod includes the fact that four percent of all the world's cheese will eventually be stolen, and the strange tale of a gigantic maple syrup heist involving free market rebels and a maple syrup federation that almost sounds like Star Wars, if Star Wars were shot in snowy Canada — plus, why consumers should be concerned about food heists, including rising costs and foodborne illness.

Will there ever be a glamorous Hollywood film about cheese thieves akin to Ocean's Eleven? A food nerd can dream. Listen to Gastropod take on the topic of food heists. below:

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