Leave it to the Canadians to make headlines with a several million pound maple syrup heist:

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers believe several million cans of stolen maple syrup may be sitting on U.S. grocery shelves.

Quebec police arrested four men in connection with the robbery of 6 million pounds of maple syrup stolen from a Canadian warehouse in a heist spanning just under a year.

The thieves managed to steal the sticky substance from a warehouse in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford between August 2011 and July of this year. The stolen syrup tops out at $18 million in total market value.

“It’s one of the most important robberies in Quebec because of the quantity stolen and the value of the syrup,” said Sgt. Gregory Gomez Del Prado of Quebec police.

[Doug Mackenzie accent/on]

Take off, eh? Hosers.

[Doug Mackenzie accent/off]

“We know there are probably more people involved. It’s a complex case,” said Simon Trépanier, director of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. “At the beginning we knew it had been done by a very organized group because it’s impossible to steal that amount of maple syrup without being organized.”

Trépanier said his organization stored the overproduction supply of their 2011 harvest in roughly 10 million barrels located within a rented facility. The organization did not know of the heist until the warehouse workers called to report empty syrup barrels.

“At first people were laughing saying, ‘Oh, this is just food; it’s not like stealing cars or jewelry,'” said Trépanier. “You realize now, one barrel holds 45 gallons of maple syrup with a worth of $1,800. It’s more difficult to put in your bag than jewelry. It’s still a high value item.”

Okay, it’s a “high value item”.  I’m still laughing.  The mental imagine is like something out of a Peter Sellars movie.  “Zot ist not mein pincake.”

And what say the good people of New England, where the coppers think all this hot syrup is, uh, dripping?

Matt Gordon, executive director of Vermont Maple Sugar Makers, works to market and educate retailers on new production techniques. He says he had not heard about the case in Quebec, nor has he heard of “anything on this magnitude in the past.”

Even if the stolen maple syrup is found in the states, Gordon doesn’t see an issue with producers.

“My instinct is to say it wouldn’t impact maple syrup producers [in the U.S.] because syrup would have had to have been bought through regular channels,” said Gordon.

I believe that’s a diplomatic way of saying, “Meh.”

(Sorry, but I enjoy a gratuitous dig at the Canadians every now and again.)

UPDATE:  The Corner has more.  Apparently, the stuff was filched from Quebec’s Strategic Maple Reserve, a storage system used to hold excess production in good years so that the Quebecois Syrup Syndicate can keep prices high.   Protectionist hosers, serves ’em right.

And while we’re about it, how about a little Great White North holiday cheer?