Cheese robbery in the Netherlands
January 11, 2016 2:15 PM   Subscribe

DutchNews reports on how Dutch cheese farms have recently been plagued by cheese theft. It may sound a little bit like the plot for a children's book, but it's quite serious: thousands of euros worth of cheese are being stolen from the dairy farms.

Last year alone, 8500 kilos of cheese, worth €90.000,- went missing.
The NLTimes has a similar report, with a picture that does not depict cheese robbers.
The original article in NRC (Dutch) describes how the robbers 'lovingly' covered the wheelbarrows, that they borrowed to transport the cheese to their vans, with aprons from the farm store to keep the cheese from getting dirty.
posted by Too-Ticky (85 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
I move this post be immediately retitled to "Cheese it! It's the cops!"
posted by entropicamericana at 2:17 PM on January 11, 2016 [33 favorites]


I second the motion.
posted by skycrashesdown at 2:20 PM on January 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


The things we do for cheese.
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:20 PM on January 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


What a friend we have in cheeses.
posted by Floydd at 2:21 PM on January 11, 2016 [18 favorites]


The cheese may stand alone, but it apparently gets stolen in bulk.
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:24 PM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Call the Cheese Enforcement Agency!
posted by emjaybee at 2:24 PM on January 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Cheese thievery... I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying I understand.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 2:26 PM on January 11, 2016 [42 favorites]


Hmm, is this why my local store hasn't had the gouda I like for months?
posted by lovecrafty at 2:27 PM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I hope it's being stolen by some sort of evil genius mastermind who calls herself Cheese Louise.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:28 PM on January 11, 2016 [20 favorites]


Wisconsin/New Jersey, Ontario, Modena Italy... I could have sworn there was one in Mexico recently too.
posted by XMLicious at 2:30 PM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Who is cutting the cheese!
posted by clavdivs at 2:33 PM on January 11, 2016


ASOkaasroofers

geplunderd **giggle**
posted by humboldt32 at 2:33 PM on January 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Apparently foods I like are subject to theft. First the Great Maple Syrup Heist, and now this.
posted by kevinbelt at 2:36 PM on January 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


These brazen criminals even hit Roquefort Knox! Rumors on the international policing circuit suggest that shadowy billionaire Casein Cheesefinger may be behind the crimes.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:36 PM on January 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


Don't worry; these acurdsid criminals will never get awhey with it!
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:36 PM on January 11, 2016 [13 favorites]


entropicamericana: "I move this post be immediately retitled to "Cheese it! It's the cops!""

Please, this is the Netherlands we're discussing: "Cheese it! It's the gendarmes!"
posted by boo_radley at 2:36 PM on January 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


3 men arrested for stealing a tractor trailer full of cheese.


"Police are unsure what motivated the theft, but the trailer contained upwards of 30,000 pounds of cheese."
posted by clavdivs at 2:38 PM on January 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Limburglar strikes again...
posted by uosuaq at 2:43 PM on January 11, 2016 [17 favorites]


Let's hope the crooks don't set their sights on parmegiano, with its $100M cheese warehouses.
posted by Nelson at 2:44 PM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Victims are left feeling Blue.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:47 PM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


"That's nacho cheese!"
posted by peeedro at 2:57 PM on January 11, 2016 [24 favorites]


I hope these fiends will brie brought to justice. Sweet, creamy, buttery justice.
posted by mephron at 2:58 PM on January 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


Well I'll be edam'ed.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:58 PM on January 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


"Police are unsure what motivated the theft, but the trailer contained upwards of 30,000 pounds of cheese."

An excellent example of a sentence that poses a question in the first half and answers it in the second.
posted by skycrashesdown at 3:12 PM on January 11, 2016 [20 favorites]


I hope that cheese is stored well! Like where are they going to off-load it too? Who is going to eat all of that cheese? A secret black market for smuggled cheese? Did they invest in another storage facility that could help preserve that cheese? Who are these guys? So many questions.
posted by yueliang at 3:29 PM on January 11, 2016


you guys these puns are 2cheesy4me
posted by mossicle at 3:30 PM on January 11, 2016


I'd pay close attention to the mustard and celery salt security as well.
posted by srboisvert at 3:33 PM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Gouda'd that happen?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:44 PM on January 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


‘It’s speculation, but I think they have gone to the Russian market,’ Irene van de Voort, chairman of the farm dairy board, told the paper. ‘Not much cheese is being sent there because of the boycott. It’s a rare product and that drives prices up, so would explain the current spate of thefts.’

This is an act of humanitarian black market something something.

Putin's "cheese war"

One photo caption in the above link:

A broken head of cheese is seen on the ground as illegally imported food falling under restrictions is destroyed in Belgorod

*weeps*
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:51 PM on January 11, 2016


"I'm innocent Your Honor -- my gut bacteria made me do it!"
posted by jamjam at 3:57 PM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Jeez, the least the russian mob could do is buy it under the table. Stealing is just rude.
posted by clockzero at 3:57 PM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


A fly sits on illegally imported cheese at Pulkovo airport in St. Petersburg

Don't shoo him away! He's making casu marzu!
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:00 PM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Do they have Nac Mac Feegles in the Netherlands?
posted by elizilla at 4:10 PM on January 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


Who is going to eat all of that cheese?

I VOLUNTEER
posted by randomnity at 4:37 PM on January 11, 2016


Cheese burglars!
posted by young_simba at 4:42 PM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well this is no gouda!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:44 PM on January 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


This must be an inside job. A rennet-gade employee, if you will.
posted by dr_dank at 4:53 PM on January 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


No, the theft was too Krafty for that.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:20 PM on January 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Minions: "Can we go raid a cheese farm?"
Cheese Louise: "Parmesan granted."
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:56 PM on January 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


Came for the cheese puns. Was not disappointed!

Feta compli!
posted by briank at 6:08 PM on January 11, 2016 [21 favorites]


I'm not much of a criminal (anymore), but if anyone here needs help masterminding further cheese heists of this magnitude, well, I'm your huckleberry.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 6:31 PM on January 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think it's the Mousefia.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:38 PM on January 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


If Grimace can drive a forklift, I have a way into Mayor McCheeses' wheel house.
posted by clavdivs at 7:16 PM on January 11, 2016


This is obviously the work of Curdish Rebels
posted by AGameOfMoans at 7:35 PM on January 11, 2016 [18 favorites]


Cheeses Heist! I'm not Leyden when I say these low country Gouda fellows take a huuuge bite out of the Dutch Edamconomy. It must be the muncheese from those hash cafés.
posted by Oyéah at 7:39 PM on January 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Are we sure that Wallace and Gromit haven't been anywhere nearby?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:31 PM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 9:36 PM on January 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


The mastermind is a real Wiz.
posted by zippy at 10:42 PM on January 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Authorities in search of clues now consulting the definitive book for such cases, "Who Moved My Cheese?"
posted by p3t3 at 11:01 PM on January 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


This must be an inside job. A rennet-gade employee, if you will.

Wheels within wheels.

This is obviously the work of Curdish Rebels

No whey, this has all the signs of a provolone wolf.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:30 PM on January 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well, if all y' all think this is funny, then who am I to diss a Brie?

I must object to the word gendarmes being used here, though. La douce France is that way. ---------------->
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:09 AM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's interesting to me that nobody jumps upon the "eastern block types" from the NLTimes link. I wonder if there was an article about crops being stolen from Texan farmers that quoted a farmer who said he had seen "Mexican types" on his security camera, the reaction would be the same.

But to be fair, the NRC article is much worse about this. It mentions that the image is too vague to recognize anyone, but that the owner sees "eastern block types". "They just don't look Dutch". Even ignoring the fact that there's no such thing as "looking Dutch" because Dutch people can have all kinds of backgrounds, it's a remarkable ability, to be able to distinguish, from a blurry security camera video, people who look like this from people who look like this. I know this should not be surprising, but it's still shocking to me that a supposedly high quality newspaper (NRC is among our best) just prints quotes like that unchallenged.
posted by blub at 2:04 AM on January 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


I suppose if someone is talking out of their backside, the NRC doesn't mind letting them show that backside in public. I don't think that's bad journalism; it's reporting truthfully what someone said. It's not an opinion piece after all.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:09 AM on January 12, 2016


Not that I condone theft (or lazy blaming of "Eastern European criminals") but to put this into perspective, the annual Dutch cheese production is 650,000,000 kg. That means 0.0013% of production is stolen and allegedly sent to Putin. I'd imagine they have bigger losses due to random mishaps.

On the other hand, the average Dutch person eats 14.3 kg of cheese each year so the theft equals 594 Dutchies going cheeseless, which is clearly a crime against humanity.
posted by brokkr at 2:37 AM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


brokkr, I'm glad that you can see how important this is.

What bothers me most is that these are mostly smaller dairy farms, not big factories; I imagine that it hurts the owners of these farms on several levels, some of them financial, others quite personal.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:45 AM on January 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


At least the thieves made a clean gouda whey.
posted by Devonian at 3:12 AM on January 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


I suppose if someone is talking out of their backside, the NRC doesn't mind letting them show that backside in public.
It's in a paragraph about anecdotical "evidence" that points to Eastern Europe though and it's presented as if this observation is perhaps relevant instead of completely ridiculous. It's clear from the NLTimes link that that's how that author interpreted it as well: The owner of the farm told the newspaper that four “Eastern Block types” could be seen on the security camera footage during the theft. No quotes here, just a sentence about how "eastern block types" could be seen on a security camera, as if that's a fact.

(I don't think the idea that the cheese is probably meant for the Russian market is ridiculous, that's a reasonable theory, they cannot sell it here because of the serial numbers, and because of the boycot the demand is higher there).

About the topic itself: it was fascinating to me that according to the article the cheese market is so small that everyone knows everyone and that that's one reason it would be hard to sell the cheese here. I always thought of cheese as one of our biggest export products, and the 650,000,000 kilo's that brokkr mentions seems like an astronomical amount (you need about 6,500,000,000 liters of milk to make that!) so I find it interesting that such a big industry is still so small too.

And another thing that I had not expected was that the police treats every theft as an individual case, that they haven't even looked at a connection yet, and don't have a system to track those. As bad as this crime is, this also makes me worry about other large scale crimes that are treated as single not all that important cases by the police.
posted by blub at 3:40 AM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


This might have something to do with the phenomenon.
posted by dbiedny at 3:50 AM on January 12, 2016


It's in a paragraph about anecdotical "evidence" that points to Eastern Europe though and it's presented as if this observation is perhaps relevant instead of completely ridiculous.

I can see where you're coming from, but I don't really read it that way. The scare quotes around 'evidence' alone make it sound like it should not be taken seriously.

another thing that I had not expected was that the police treats every theft as an individual case

Boerderijkaas is always a highly individual kaas.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:57 AM on January 12, 2016


How could they? Those muensters!

It'll be easy to catch the culprits though: just ambush them at the cracker factory.
posted by sively at 4:34 AM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Cheeeeeeeeseefiiinnngaaaaaaaaaaaa

No, wheely!

"Are you putting cheese in your pants? Or are you just glad to see me?!"

posted by petebest at 5:17 AM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Gouda'd that happen?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 0:44 on January 12


Waaaaaiiiiitttt a minute... have I been pronuncing gouda wrong this whole time?
posted by lollymccatburglar at 6:04 AM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


That's pretty likely. The 'gou' part does not sound like 'goo'. More like 'gow' as in 'gown'. Of course, you have a snowball's chance in hell of getting the 'g' sound right...

Next up: Van Gogh. Fun!
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:21 AM on January 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


yueliang: "I hope that cheese is stored well! Like where are they going to off-load it too? Who is going to eat all of that cheese? A secret black market for smuggled cheese? Did they invest in another storage facility that could help preserve that cheese? Who are these guys? So many questions."

I'd give it a shot.
posted by Samizdata at 6:21 AM on January 12, 2016


Gouda'd that happen?

It's a mysterbrie.
posted by slogger at 6:47 AM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Waaaaaiiiiitttt a minute... have I been pronuncing gouda wrong this whole time?

Only if you're trying to speak Dutch.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:57 AM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Your own... personal... cheeses?
posted by xedrik at 7:23 AM on January 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Cheese, wheel it's Comté this! The thieves could be crackers or maybe part of an international Raclette.

What would Sherlock Holmes make of this Grevé Saga?

- It's Emmental, my dear Watson!
posted by asok at 8:00 AM on January 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Your own... personal... cheeses?

Someone with brie and pears
Someone who cares
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:18 AM on January 12, 2016 [14 favorites]


This seems like the kind of thing you call in Wallace and Gromit to investigate.
posted by emjaybee at 8:29 AM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


What a friend we have in cheeses.
posted by Floydd at 2:21 PM on January 11


Have you let cheeses into your heart?
posted by hearthpig at 10:15 AM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Have you let cheeses into your heart?

Nope, just my stomach.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:21 AM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


So nobody bleu their cover yet? Hollanders, you cantal just let these guys robiola(ke) that! Maybe time to gruyere local police force: more men taleggio cacio(ll) these thieves...
posted by progosk at 10:34 AM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's not much of a cheese shop, is it?
posted by Melismata at 11:05 AM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


(Crowd)

Cheesus Christ, Superstar

(Priests)

He is dangerous
Look Caiaphas
They are right outside our yard
Quick Caiaphas
Go call the Wisconsin guard

(Caiaphas)


No wait, we need a more permanent solution to our problem.

(Annas)

What shall we do about Cheesus of Nazareth?
Miracle worker, pilgrim or fool

(Priest)

No milkshakes, no yogurt, no butter, no lactose

(Caiaphas)

One thing to say for him, Cheesus is cool

(Annas)

We dare not leave him to his own devices
His half-curdled fans will get out of control

(Priest)

But how can we stop him, his odour increases
With every minute, he's top of the pole

(Caiaphas)

I see bad things arising
The crowd crown him King
Which the Romans would ban
I see whey and destruction
Our emulsification because of one man
Whey and destruction
Because of one man

(Voices)

What can we do about this Cheesusmania?
How can we deal with the cheddaring king?
Where do we start with a man who is bigger
Than John was when John did his fondue thing?

(Caiaphas)

Fools! You have no perception
The stakes we are gambling
Are frighteningly high
We must crush him completely
So like John before him
This Cheesus must die
For the sake of the dairy
This Cheesus must die
Must die, must die
This Cheesus must die
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:06 AM on January 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's not much of a cheese shop, is it?

Well, it's very clean!
(That's how the robbers were able to make a clean getaway.)
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:20 PM on January 12, 2016


Gouda rhymes with the way Mayor Quimby pronounces "chowder".
posted by humboldt32 at 1:51 PM on January 12, 2016


Have the police solved it? Or were there too many holes in the kaas?
posted by stanf at 2:17 PM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


What is it about MetaFilter and these rancid cheese puns? No matter how grate it gets, it's just the thin wedge of the paronomasia that exists around here.

It must be something to do with the culture.

What a buncha turophiles.


Cheese is milk's leap toward immortality.
Cliff Fadiman
posted by BlueHorse at 3:42 PM on January 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Have the police solved it? Or were there too many holes in the kaas?

You mean Kees.
posted by humboldt32 at 4:58 PM on January 12, 2016


Cheese is milk's leap toward immortality.
Cliff Fadiman


"Cheese is milk gone off big time styley."
-- Stephen Fry
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:24 PM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Kees is not kaas. But points for smart use of typography. Clever clogs!
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:48 AM on January 13, 2016


Yes, I'm aware. I was just making a silly because English speakers invariably pronounce this common name incorrectly.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:42 PM on January 13, 2016


Sorry, we're talking past each other, as we say in Dutch! I saw your silly. It just made me think of the product in the picture: something that cannot legally be called cheese, because the milk fats have been replaced by vegetable fats. They cleverly named it 'kees', in a font that makes it almost look like 'kaas'.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:52 PM on January 13, 2016


Ik begrijp je nu.
posted by humboldt32 at 8:22 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


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