Most of us will agree that parmesan cheese is a wonderful thing, but would anyone actually be so into it that they would steal almost a million dollars worth of the stuff? That’s exactly what happened in Italy, where a group of “criminal masterminds” allegedly made off with about $875,000 worth of the country’s finest Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The group of 11 thieves was arrested in Modena after getting caught, and this was no amateur operation.
And no, just in case you were wondering, the thieves were not mice. Because one, mice, even 11 abnormally-intelligent mice from a Disney movie with impeccable palates and infinite resources, would probably not have bothered stealing that much cheese. They’re mice. They’re tiny. $875,000 of cheese is a veritable gondola-load of cheese, and mice don’t need that much cheese in their lifetimes. And two, you don’t arrest mice, you kill them on sight.
Anyway, the 11 humans (who are also definitely not mice in human costumes) that stole the cheese had been running a very sophisticated scheme to pull off their series of heists:
Throughout the course of their investigation, police were able to uncover some astonishingly complex tools for simple cheese thieves, including weapons, radios, tools used for breaking into targeted buildings, and electronics used to circumvent alarm systems.
The operation took place over two years and “some 2,039 wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano” were lifted. So keep that in mind that the next time you buy Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese off the street while on a trip to Italy. That could be stolen, black market cheese. And you do not want to be part of that.
At least now we know what Italy’s version of Breaking Bad could look and smell like.