An organised crime gang made off with £17,000 ($23k) worth of cheese in a bizarre dairy heist that has left farmers on high alert.
The robbery at Torenpolderkaas dairy farm in Noord Brabant, Netherlands last week saw the farm lose 3,500lbs as a 'well-organised' group of thieves broke in and loaded a bus full of product.
While it may seem like an odd target for criminal gangs, the risk of cheese robberies is reportedly so well known to Dutch dairy farmers that they live in fear of it happening to them.
Theo Dekker, chairman of the Dutch Association of Farm Dairy Preparers, said: "We are a bit afraid of this. They don't shy away from entering a cheese farm with brute force. In no time they fill their bus and leave.
"It is of course never pleasant to have burglars in your yard. We know all too well how much craft is involved in the cheeses."
Dekker added that cheeses can be attractive loot because it has value and can be transported abroad and sold at a cut-price.
He also explained that the group had 'already explored the farm shop a few days before the incident so that they knew their target.
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The recent theft took place following 'a few quiet years' for dairy farmers in the Netherlands after measures were put in place to track products, including unique codes that are pressed into the rind which can't be removed without damaging the cheese.
He said: "As a result, the thieves cannot sell the entire cheese in the Netherlands."
Dekker has since warned other dairy farms to remain vigilant against similar attacks and is urging businesses to set up CCTV cameras and to get insured to protect against losses.
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