Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Syrup theft prompts arrests

Quebec provincial police believe they have arrested three sticky-fingered thieves as a result of their investigations into the heist of 9.600 barrels of maple syrup valued at $18 million from a warehouse at Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, about 95 kilometres southwest of Quebec City.

They are looking for another five people.

When the theft was discovered in July, Simon Trépanier of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers thought about $30 million worth had been taken. Later they noticed that not as many barrels were missing as they originally thought.

The arrests came after search warrants were exercised in Quebec, New Brunswick, Ontario and the United States.

Police say they have seized about two-thirds of the stolen maple syrup, electronic scales, elevator platforms and kettles.

The seizures began in Kedgwick, New Brunswich, in October where about 1,000 barrels were retrieved from S.K. Export Inc. The owner says that syrup came from his regular producers in Quebec. They object to marketing through the Quebec association.

Richard Valli√®res, 34, of Loretteville and Avik Caron, 39, of Saint-Wenceslas, along with a third person arrested without a warrant face charges of theft, conspiracy, handling stolen goods and fraud.