Thieves have stolen over 60 Gouda cheese wheels worth over 22,000 USD from Dutch dairy farmers.
The cheese thieves pulled off the heist in the middle of the night at Torenpolderkaas, a dairy farm and cheese business located in a rural area in Fijnaart with less than 7,000 residents.
Gerda van Dorp, who runs Torenpolderkaas with her husband Joost, said they had no idea why they were targeted.
“They stole the cheese. I can’t even describe the feeling when you see all those empty shelves,” Van Dorp said.
The thieves stole oversized cheese wheels weighing 10 kilograms (22 pounds) each, and are now down with 22,920 USD worth of inventory.
“I can kick myself for not noticing anything. You just don’t feel safe and that is a very bad feeling. It will really take a while before I regain trust in people… You work really hard for it, and then everything is destroyed in one night,” Van Dorp said.
Theo Dekker, the chairman of dairy farmers’ organization Bond van Boerderij-Zuiverlbereide, said that the incident was not unheard of yet a well-organized crime.
“In 2016, there was a burglary wave, and in 2020 it happened again. Cheese is a wanted product because it is easy to sell… This is not just about cheese thieves. This is [a] well-organized crime.” Dekker said.
Dekker encouraged dairy farmers to increase their security and look out for anyone who seemed to be eyeing their property.
Dekker added that his organization is observing online cheese sellers.
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