THE GREAT CANADIAN MAPLE SYRUP HEIST History’s Sweetest Theft
Maple syrup holds a proud place in the history and culture of Quebec, Canada. It’s also a big part of Quebec’s economy, with 72% of the world’s maple syrup produced in Quebec alone. Due to tactics employed by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ), the NPR-backed podcast “The Indicator” estimates that maple syrup is valued at approximately $1,300 per barrel — over 20 times more than crude oil. The FPAQ controls the available syrup supply, never releasing enough maple syrup to meet demand, which increases the price. As a result, most of the world’s maple syrup is stored in various reserves. Between 2011 and 2012, a group of thieves decided to liberate the syrup from an FPAQ facility in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, Quebec. Stealing syrup from Canada doesn’t sound as glamorous as stealing cash from a Vegas casino, but their plan could rival the plot of “Ocean’s Eleven.” At the FPAQ facility, syrup was stored in unmarked metal barrels and only inspected once a year. The heist, led by a man named Richard Vallières, involved transporting the barrels to a remote sugar shack in the Canadian wilderness, where they siphoned off the maple syrup, refilled the barrels with water, and returned the barrels to the facility. The stolen syrup was then trucked east to New Brunswick and south across the border into Vermont. Wisely,
the thieves sold their ill-gotten goods in small batches, avoiding suspicion from legitimate syrup distributors. In what is now known as the Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist, thieves made off with 10,000 barrels of maple syrup valued at $18.7 million. This remains one of the most costly heists in Canadian history. Vallières himself became a millionaire and took his family on three tropical vacations in one year.
Unfortunately, the thieves got sloppy and stopped refilling the barrels with water.
When an FPAQ inspector visited the targeted facility in the fall of 2012, he accidentally knocked over one of the empty barrels. The inspector alerted the police, who would go on to arrest 17 men in connection to the theft, including Vallières himself. Police were then able to recover hundreds of barrels of the stolen syrup, but most of it was never recovered — likely lost to pancake breakfasts far away.
HOW MUCH HAS CHANGED IN 10 YEARS A Decade In Reflection
Every new year, Scott and I like to look back to see how much has changed. However, this year is a little different as we’re welcoming a new decade. We’ll be reflecting on what has changed this year and in the last 10!
we want to ensure we’re helping everyone we can in the community. It’s for this reason that we started doing Free Dental Day! It’s a full day of taking on same- day appointments to ensure anyone who needs proper oral care has the opportunity to get it. We’ve also gone all digital and no longer use radiographs. Instead of relying on impressions and malleable, uncomfortable tools for implants, we accomplish the same techniques with a computer and a camera. The research and ease of access to it is amazing. Now, with all the new research, patients are much more engaged
In 2009, our kids were only 2, 5, and 6, and over the years we’ve seen them mature into amazing young adults. My 16-year-old just started driving, so you can imagine the color my hair is going to be in a few months! When they were little, we watched over them
24/7, but now they all have grown into wonderful individuals with their own entire lives. They take all the new challenges they have to face in stride, like sports
in their oral care. This research is also leading to more advancements in oral health than ever before.
and their grades. We’ve also had to be more patient with them, as we know kids their age have a ton of pressure on them to excel in the classroom and on the field. To make sure we can all spend time together, we make it a priority to take family trips. We feel vacations are a great way to keep our family bond strong. On the professional side, we’ve grown so much, and technology has come full circle. We’ve been fortunate enough to expand our staff to meet the needs of our client base. It’s been so rewarding to see, as 2 RobinsonDental.org
For example, researchers have discovered more information about sleep apnea and its correlation to one’s overall oral health. Now, we’re able to supply services and products that help alleviate symptoms of sleep apnea for patients. Have there been any big moments in your last decade or year? Is there anything you’re looking forward to? Let us know next time you’re in the office! We love swapping parenting stories or geeking out over the latest technology!
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