Alleged maple syrup thieves arrested

Dec. 18, 2012 at 5:46 PM

MONTREAL, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The theft of about $18 million worth of maple syrup has led to the arrest of three people in Canada, say authorities, who are looking for five more suspects.

The 9,600 barrels of sticky sweetness were pilfered from a warehouse in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, Quebec, between July and August. About two-thirds of it has been recovered.

In custody are Richard Vallieres, 34, of Loretteville, Avik Caron, 39, of Saint-Wenceslas, and a third unidentified person, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Tuesday. They face charges of theft, conspiracy, handling stolen goods and fraud.

When the theft was discovered last summer, authorities valued the syrup at about $30 million, but they subsequently lowered their estimate.

Sgt. Claude Denis of the Quebec provincial police declined to reveal how the thieves spirited away so much maple syrup.

"During the investigation, police officers met approximately 300 people working in the production and sale of maple syrup and transportation," Denis said.

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