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#CheeseCrime Roundup: Wisconsin Edition

Roadside statue of a huge mouse dressed in a red shirt and cap with a huge piece of Swiss atop a Wisconsin Cheese sign

In what feels like a series of events pulled from a Coen brothers movie, this past week has seen Wisconsin police dealing with two completely separate stinky cases of large-scale cheese theft.

On January 15, police were notified that 41,000 pounds of parmesan cheese vanished from a storage facility in Marshfield, Wisc. The $90,000 worth of cheesy goodness had been picked up by a semitruck but never reached its destination of Elgin, Ill. Both Tom and especially Jerry were questioned, but Hanna-Barbera swears the pair was not involved. After thirteen days of rigorous investigation, however, police received a tip on the morning of January 28 and were able to locate the collection of cheese in a warehouse in Grand Chute, WI, nearly 107 miles east of its starting location.

As Marshfield Police were tracking down their dairy bandits, another vile band of vagabonds up to no gouda stole a separate shipment of cheese from Germantown, Wisc. On January 22, just a week after the first heist, another semi drove out of its distribution facility with $70,000 worth of cheese in its refrigerated trailer at the stroke of midnight and was never seen again—that is, until a helpful citizen with information on the truck’s location responded to a Germantown Police Department’s Facebook post detailing the missing semi. Unfortunately, the cheese had already been relocated by the time police arrived, but thankfully, members of the GPD eventually located the cheese in the city of Milwaukee about 23 miles away.

Tragically the cheese was located but not saved. Having been illicitly handled and moved about, the cheese could not be returned to its rightful owner or the mouths of cheese enthusiasts. Instead, it was tossed into a giant landfill and left to rot—$70,000 worth of cheese right in the garbage. Marshfield police are trying to piece together how their $90,000 batch of cheese was handled and if it is safe to return. I pray to all things holey and swiss that the cheese is spared the same fate as the other batch.

Wisconsin produced 2.9 billion pounds of cheese in 2015, so two heists in the same month mark an ominous start to the New Year. Lt. James Theep with the Germantown Police Department believes that “the intention was to sell the cheese,” as opposed to living like kingly rats in their own cheese factory. Details on the suspects were mysteriously absent. Could they simply be cheese enthusiasts? Part of a #CheeseCrime ring? Just a Grinch who stole from the Whoville cheesemonger? The suspects in both cases are currently still at large, but if you play this game of cheese you either win or you spoil. The Wisconsin police are adamantly committed to keeping the cheddar in the right hands and have encouraged all locals to call in any tips on suspicious-looking cheese heads (or large mice) that might be involved in any and all #CheeseCrime.

Cary Spector

Cary is a BFA Writing, Literature and Publishing Major at Emerson College. When not enjoying the luxuries of cheese and other dairy, he can most likely be found making guacamole. "If there are avocados, there will be guac,” as he always says.

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