Thieves steal 465 tonnes of corn in massive Quebec farm theft

Steve Mertl
National Affairs Contributor
Daily Brew
The farmer said it's unclear whether the thieves used multiple trucks to steal the load of corn.

A Quebec farm has become the victim of yet another strange food theft.

Sometime before last Friday, someone broke into Tri-jardin Farm, about 130 kilometres northeast of Montreal, and made off with 465 tonnes of corn.

Raphael Desjardins told CBC News his father arrived to find the lock on the gate missing and his storage silos empty. All that remained were a few kernels on the ground.

"We're still without any words," Desjardins said. "We did not think that this could be possible."

[ Related: Bold thieves empty corn silos at Quebec farm ]

It appears the theives used the farm's own equipment to empty the bins and would have needed five or six hours to truck off the purloined corn, Desjardins said.

The stolen corn has an estimated street value of $140,000.

The thieves, who also made off with a small quantity of soybeans, apparently disabled the farm's security alarm and surveillance camera, CBC News said.

"We're freaking out," Desjardins said. "We know almost everybody around, and we don't know if this could be somebody [we know.]"

Desjardins hopes the corn can still be recovered.

"It's such a big load of grain that we can't imagine this will disappear," he told CBC News.

High corn prices due to last summer's U.S. drought are thought to be the motive behind the theft.

It's the latest large-scale heist of Quebec comestibles, coming after last summer's disappearance of hundreds of barrels of maple syrup worth an estimated $30 million from a warehouse northeast of Montreal.

A police investigation turned up a cache of syrup at a warehouse in New Brunswick in October, CTV News reported.

[ Related: Maple syrup seized in N.B. may have been stolen in Quebec ]

And in British Columbia, RCMP were called last August after someone stole more than a tonne of potatoes from a farmer's field in Richmond, a suburb of Vancouver.

QMI Agency reported at the time that police were baffled by the theft but speculated some group may have wanted the potatoes to seed their own field or "to make vodka or french fries."