GTA police track down alleged cheesenappers

(Scott Bauer photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Three Toronto-area men face theft charges after a tractor trailer load of cheese took a late-night road trip in the wee hours Wednesday.

The truckload of cheese had been reported stolen from the Brampton, Ont. area on Tuesday, York Regional Police said in a release.

The YRP said they then got a call shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday about what appeared to be a stolen tractor trailer parked near the intersection of Hwys. 7 and 27, in the Woodbridge area of the GTA.

By the time police caught up with the truck, it was being driven in the Royal Group Crescent area nearby, where officers tried to pull it over but the driver “refused to stop.”

YRP officers didn’t pursue, citing concern for public safety, but got a call a few minutes later about a rolled-over tractor trailer a few kilometres west, around Hwys. 7 and 427.

Officers and a canine unit began tracking suspects from the abandoned tractor trailer, police said. YRP and Ontario Provincial Police arrested one man found driving in another car on Royal Crest Drive, then arrested two other suspects found trying to hail a cab nearby.

All three men — a 36-year-old and 31-year-old from Brampton and a 19-year-old of no fixed address — have been charged with theft over $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, and were held in custody pending a bail hearing later Wednesday, YRP said.

It’s not yet known whether the truck or the contents were the goal of the alleged theft. CBC Toronto on Wednesday quoted YRP Cst. Andy Pattenden as saying the truck contained over 30,000 pounds of cheese of a “pretty high value.”

Also, Pattenden told CBC, cargo theft is known to be an issue in the area, with any commodity “of high value” as the objective. — Network

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