Maple syrup heist gone bad

Sometimes, I'm really glad I follow the World News subreddit.  Today, it was incredibly worth it, because I got to read this headline, and the relevant story:

Thieves arrested for stealing 6 million pounds of maple syrup

This reads a bit like a bad Canada joke.  But no, it really happened.  Four thieves have been arrested, and there are five more suspects the police are currently pursuing.

Quebec police have arrest warrants for four other suspects, the report said.

"We know there are probably more people involved. It's a complex case," said Simon Trepanier, director of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers.

"At the beginning we knew it had been done by a very organised group because it’s impossible to steal that amount of maple syrup without being organised."

And the Business Standard, the paper reporting on this theft, also wants to clarify:

Maple syrup is often eaten with pancakes, waffles, French toast, or oatmeal and porridge. It is also used as an ingredient in baking, and as a sweetener or flavouring agent.

What were they going to do with it?  Were they going to sell it on the black market?  Is there a black market for syrup?

This is the best news story of the week.

Weird, disturbing Canadian politics and feet

I don't know much about the Canadian news media, so I don't know whether The Globe And Mail is a reliable source.  But I was clicking around on the different nation settings on Google News, and I discovered this story:

Second package containing body part found near Tory headquarters

Obviously, I was intrigued.

Apparently, the Ottowa Tories (Tories being the conservative political party of countries that never rebelled against British rule) have received two separate packages, the first was a white box with a red heart painted on it, which contained a severed human foot.  I say 'received,' the second one was actually intercepted by the police.  The article doesn't specify the nature of the packaging, but this one contained a human hand. But since the Tories know it exists and that was meant for them, I think it counts as delivered when it was revealed that it exists at all.

Former Mountie investigator Glenn Woods said it is the first time he’s heard of a Canadian political party being the target of such a horrific act. “This is the kind of stuff you might see in developing countries where you have dictatorships and coups.”

One source claimed that the foot came with a note, but another contradicted that claim.  Both sound plausible -- people are certainly capable of making up narratives like a strange box with a foot and a threatening or mysterious letter, but the Tories might also want to keep at least some of the information about the foot secret.  Maybe its intent was perfectly clear, and they just haven't revealed in what way.

Mr. Woods, who retired from the RCMP as director of its behavioural sciences branch, said the extremely public stunt – “A very desperate fanatical act to get a point across” – doesn’t sound like something the Mafia would stage.

“Organized crime generally will keep a low profile. They would never do something like this to bring [attention],” Mr. Woods said. “Their motivation is money. Short of making an example of someone who, for instance, is an informer, I have never seen them get involved in this kind of thing – particularly with a political party.”

The former Mountie said an accompanying note, if one exists, will have given police a far better sense of whom they are dealing with. “To me, when you start sending human body parts, there’s got to be some level of mental illness.”

It's not clear where the parts came from, but evidence suggests that, fortunately[1. Because the alternative is more.] it might only be parts of one person.

On Tuesday morning, a janitor working outside a building in the Côte-des-Neiges area of Montreal’s west end found body parts, including a torso, in a suitcase in a pile of garbage.

Constable Daniel Fortier, spokesman for the Montreal police, said Montreal and Ottawa investigators “are talking to each other, they’re staying in touch.”

“But we don’t know yet if it’s related. Autopsies will be performed on the body parts, and hopefully we can find out who it may be. The information will be transmitted between the two forces.”