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Big cheese theft suspect caught

March 29, 2013 at 10:17 PM

CASHTON, Wis., March 29 (UPI) -- An Illinois man is facing charges after being arrested in New Jersey with a truckload of stolen Wisconsin cheese, authorities say.

Veniamin Konstantinovich Balika, 34, of Plainfield was pulled over at a New Jersey Turnpike rest stop with 42,000 pounds of Muenster worth about $200,000, WBBM-TV, Chicago, reported Thursday.

Investigators said he used fake paperwork to trick the folks at K&K Cheese in Cashton, Wis., into loading the Muenster on his rig.

The company says it doesn't want the cheese back because it can't guarantee it hasn't been tampered with, the TV station said.

The big cheese shipment could wind up being donated to charity if it can get past New Jersey health inspections, WBBM-TV, said.

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