Make sure you’re sitting down, folks: France has become the latest victim of the dark and dastardly trend of cheese crime. Just like the Parmigiano Reggiano Bandits of a couple weeks ago, these guys weren’t playing around—they were going for the gold, which in this case would be four tons of Comté, a gem of a cheese with official Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée status that can only be produced following strict guidelines in the French region of Franche-Comté on the border with Switzerland.
The alpine-abductors broke into the Napier dairy in the town of Goux-les-Usiers, slicing their way through a barbed wire fence and busting through the back door with what appears to be a crowbar. They left that night with over one hundred heavenly wheels, or about 8,000 pounds, of the stuff. While cheese may seem an odd choice for a robbery, it actually costs a fair amount—around €40 (~$43) a kilo, meaning if they sold the cheese on the open market, they could potentially get ~€145,000 (~$155,000) worth of Comté.
Attempting to replace the stolen cheese can be a long and difficult process, as Comté can take up to three years to age. A single 80-90 lb. wheel requires over 100 gallons of milk, which would take about 20 cows to produce.
Luckily, French officials are taking this theft very seriously. They’re paying attention to any recent thefts of vehicles that could be large enough to carry all this cheese (which has to be pretty darn large), and are also setting up a text message alert system to give possible witnesses an easy way to share information with police.
We hope these curd kidnappers are caught and justice is served soon. We also hope when that happens, it looks a little something like this.
[CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated Comté is worth €40 a wheel, when in fact it is worth €40 a kilogram.]