Italian police have arrested a gang of 11 thieves accused of stealing 2,039 wheels of Parmesan cheesevalued at €785,000, about $878,768.
The perpetrators are said to have attacked various warehouses and factories in the area of Parma and Reggio Emilia, the only cities where the famed cheese is produced. The thefts were committed over the course of roughly two years, Il Sole reports.
Parmesan cheese, known in Italian as parmigiano reggiano, is made using local milk and requires anywhere from 18 to 30 months of aging. It has been produced in Parma and Reggio Emilia for over 900 years. Each stolen wheel was valued at an estimated $430.
Hauling these giants wheels of cheese couldn’t have been an easy task. The thieves reportedly used sophisticated equipment to circumvent alarm systems. No news yet on how many rats were involved in the process.
The Italian criminals may have walked away with a pretty penny but it's nothing compared to the $30 million heist performed by these maple syrup thieves in Canada a few years ago.
Discover Fine Dining Lovers' exclusive Why Waste? video series, featuring Massimo Bottura and his team of chefs, as they teach us how to repurpose leftovers and trimmings in delicious and imaginative ways, from vegetables to dairy. Take a look