Just months after after a crooked Canadian cop was busted for cheese smuggling, an Illinois man was arrested for allegedly stealing 21 tons of Muenster from a Wisconsin cheese company. The man, Veniamin Balika, 34, then did the reasonable thing and attempted to sell the 42,000 pounds of cheese at a rest stop off the New Jersey turnpike.
The cheese was reportedly stolen from Pasture Pride Cheese in Wisconsin. Balika's disguise and forged paperwork were so good that he fooled the company's owner, Kevin Everhart. "He came in with the proper paperwork," Everhart said. "He came in as if he was picking up a shipment."
Everhart said his insurance company will decide what to do with the recovered Muenster, which is valued at a whopping $200,000, though he did note that, if it passes New Jersey health inspections, it might be donated to some lucky charity.
As for the alleged cheese thief Balika, he posted bail on Wednesday and was released. The crime, while one of many strange cases he'd covered, was unique to Police Sergeant Grossman in at least one sense. "[I] can't recall the theft of Muenster cheese," he said. No word if he can recall the theft of mass quantities of other cheeses.