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Forget gold or diamonds. Maple syrup is the commodity to be stealing these days.
If you thought that last year’s Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist, from the Fort Knox of sweet goodness, the Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve, was the end of the story, think again. Maple thievery has gone small-time, as would-be breakfast barons and impoverished syrup junkies have taken to tapping maples that aren’t theirs, draining the precious sap that, when arduously boiled for hours or days to reduce it to somewhere between one-twentieth and one-fiftieth of its original volume, is the pure good stuff.
Maine maple syrup is now going for $65 per gallon, which is twice the going rate for Québecois syrup. For some reason.
The thefts occur every year, but this year more have been reported. Those who go onto private property to steal sap can face trespassing, theft or criminal mischief charges, Liba said. He said he knew of a dozen cases under investigation so far this year.
“We are seeing an increase in the theft of maple sap across the state,” Currier posted on the group’s Facebook page Tuesday morning.
“Mostly what is going on is we’re hearing complaints from landowners saying they’re out on their property and come across this bucket with tubes coming out of the tree,” Currier said by phone, describing the equipment needed to tap a tree for its sap.
Mainers finding illegal maple taps, Maine Forest Service says [Bangor Daily News]
Illegal maple tree tappers stealing liquid gold [USAToday video]