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Thieves steal semis loaded with $150,000 worth of frozen turkeys and nacho cheese

BROOKSVILLE — Turkeys and cheese have long shared a kindred spirit, of sorts. They've bonded between grilled toast, atop deli platters and inside tortilla pinwheels.

So, it only made sense that when earlier this week thieves stole a pair of semi trucks from Hernando County, the attached trailers were filled with frozen turkeys and nacho cheese — worth a combined $150,000.

Pasco County sheriff's deputies, who haven't identified the suspects, recovered both trucks at the Flying J Travel Plaza in San Antonio off State Road 52.

Both vehicles had been stripped of their electronics, including a TV, laptop and satellite radio.

However, because the turkeys were still frozen and the cheese was still refrigerated, the groceries were left unharmed.

The first truck, owned by Heyl Truck Lines Inc., was stolen Sunday from the Circle K at 35075 Cortez Blvd. in Ridge Manor. Its trailer was packed with 37,700 pounds of frozen turkeys. That's about the weight of three adult male elephants.

The suspects stole the second truck on either Sunday or Monday from the Sunrise Plaza at 31100 Cortez Blvd. in Ridge Manor West. The WEL Cos.-owned vehicle was towing a trailer stocked with $75,000 in the creamy dairy product.

The thieves, authorities said, stole the semis by breaking out a small glass window at the bottom of the passenger door and then dislodging the ignition from the steering column.

Detectives still haven't determined whether the suspects were after the trucks or the food.

John Woodrow Cox can be reached at jcox@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1432.

Got information?

Anyone with information should call the Hernando County Sheriff's Office cargo theft task force at (352) 797-3873.

Thieves steal semis loaded with $150,000 worth of frozen turkeys and nacho cheese 07/29/11 [Last modified: Friday, July 29, 2011 8:13pm]
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