Pepsi bandits victimize vending machines in cross-country crime spree

Pepsi bandits are apparently using vending machine coins to pay for their cross-Canada trip.Apparently when you've just got to have an ice-cold Pepsi Cola and nothing else will do, people will resort to extreme measures.

Either that, or a group of marauding Coke fans has decided to strip the country's defenseless Pepsi vending machines of their golden bounty.

Whatever their motivation, QMI Agency reports that a cabal of sophisticated thieves has embarked on a cross-country road trip funded, it would seem, by robbing the coins from a certain make of Pepsi machine.

"Obviously they have mastered their art at being able to access this machine, so that's why they are targeting this one type as they move across the country," Const. David Crisp with the EPS southwest division told the news agency.

[ More Brew: Canada removing Asian-looking woman from $100 bills ]

"I have heard of cases before where vending machines were being broken into, but it's more of a petty crime… You don't normally see such a pattern as what we are seeing now," he added.

The article notes that the thieves began their Pepsi desecration spree in the east coast, starting with a few hapless machines in Nova Scotia back in June.

From there, the group moved west through Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.

Now they appear to be targeting Alberta (as if the province hasn't already suffered enough this week).

Last weekend, $2000 worth of coins were stolen from Pepsi machines at a pair of Edmonton hotels, and then 10 machines were disemboweled at a lone Calgary hotel on Monday.

[ More Brew: Legion apologizes for inappropriate newsletter joke ]

While Pepsi Co. may disagree, these vending machine hits are far from the strangest heists to hit the Canadian criminal registry.

Wade Haines briefly lived out many a man's fantasy before the disgruntled truck driver was convicted of stealing his cargo load of 54,000 Moosehead beers.

And the contender for the slimiest crime comes from Cowichan Valley, B.C., where thieves nabbed a 20-litre tank from a local farm. Inside that tank? $25,000-worth of liquid nitrogen, embryos and… bull semen. As the culprits were never found, no one has been able to find out just what they planned to do with their unusually macho load.