The $98,000 Ramen Heist Is Fascinating On So Many Levels

08.16.18 9 months ago 8 Comments

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There are, as far as I can tell, three possibilities with this ramen heist business. All of them are fascinating for different reasons. We’ll get to them in a minute or two. First, we need facts.

At some point between July 25 and August 1, a person or crew made off with a 53-foot trailer that was parked at Chevron station in Fayette County, Georgia. The theft was notable in part because it may have been connected to series of break-ins in the area, but mostly because the trailer contained, per the news coverage of the crime, $98,000 worth of ramen noodles.

A few things jump out here. There’s the part where $98,000 is a weirdly precise figure, so precise that there almost has to be a story behind it. Like, I’m picturing this:

MUSTACHIOED CHIEF OF POLICE: How much ramen was stolen, Johnson?

JOHNSON: About $100,000 worth.

MUSTACHIOED CHIEF OF POLICE: I didn’t say “about” how much ramen was stolen, did I?

JOHNSON: Sorry, sir.

We also don’t know if we’re talking retail or wholesale. Because a six-pack of ramen sells for $1.49 at Wegmans right now and that would put $98,000 worth of ramen somewhere in the neighborhood of 392,000 packages of ramen. That is a lot of ramen. It’s so much that you can’t even really break it down into digestible figures. Put it this way: If a family of four ate packages of ramen noodles every day for lunch and dinner, it would take them over 130 years to eat that much ramen. This is literally generations of noodles. Their children’s children would still have a pantry full of ramen packages. And again, this is street value. The wholesale figures are even crazier. We’re talking something like 500,000 packages at that point, maybe more. If each package is four inches long, that’s enough to wrap around the world almost seven times. If each package is one inch tall, the stack would be two miles taller than Mount Everest. Like I said, it’s a lot of ramen.

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