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Where’s the beef? Alberta RCMP investigating hot tub heist, $230K meat theft by trucks with fake papers

File photo of steaks and other beef products displayed for sale at a grocery store in McLean, Va., on Jan. 18, 2010.
File photo of steaks and other beef products displayed for sale at a grocery store in McLean, Va., on Jan. 18, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, J. Scott Applewhite

Where’s the beef? And what happened to all those hot tubs?

Those are the questions Alberta RCMP are grappling with after a semi-truck trailer full of meat was stolen from one of Canada’s largest meatpacking plants — three days before several spas were taken from a manufacturer near Edmonton.

Meat stolen from Brooks plant

The meat theft from the JBS meatpacking plant near Brooks, Alta., happened two weeks ago, on Aug. 30.

RCMP said a transport truck that was subcontracted to haul a full load of beef from the facility west of Calgary to the United States failed to make its delivery.

Police said the full load of beef was valued at over $230,000 and as of publishing remains unaccounted for.

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Read more: JBS beef plant in Alberta returning to 2 shifts per day after COVID-19 outbreak

 

RCMP have determined the transport truck was operating under fraudulent documents and under the fraudulent name of Transport Pascal Charland out of Chateauguay, Que.

The transport truck used was described as a burgundy coloured semi-truck with a large bunk. It was pulling a white refrigerated enclosed trailer.

Photo of a burgundy coloured semi-truck involved in the theft of $230,000 worth of beef from the  JBS meatpacking plant near Brooks, Alta. on Aug. 30, 2020.
Photo of a burgundy coloured semi-truck involved in the theft of $230,000 worth of beef from the JBS meatpacking plant near Brooks, Alta. on Aug. 30, 2020. Supplied by RCMP
Photo of a burgundy coloured semi-truck and white trailer involved in the theft of $230,000 worth of beef from the JBS meatpacking plant near Brooks, Alta. on Aug. 30, 2020.
Photo of a burgundy coloured semi-truck and white trailer involved in the theft of $230,000 worth of beef from the JBS meatpacking plant near Brooks, Alta. on Aug. 30, 2020. Supplied by RCMP

The suspect was described by police as a tall man with a heavy build, with slightly balding, short brown hair. He was wearing blue jeans, a black T-shirt, a yellow fluorescent safety vest, and a surgical mask.

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Photo of a suspect believed to be involved in the theft of $230,000 worth of beef from the JBS meatpacking plant near Brooks, Alta. on Aug. 30, 2020.
Photo of a suspect believed to be involved in the theft of $230,000 worth of beef from the JBS meatpacking plant near Brooks, Alta. on Aug. 30, 2020. Supplied by RCMP

Stolen hot tub investigation

The trucking company name is the same fake identification RCMP allege was used a few days later to steal several hot tubs from a manufacturing plant near Edmonton.

On the morning of Sept. 2, seven hot tubs were stolen from an Arctic Spas manufacturing site in Thorsby, located about 55 kilometres southwest of Edmonton.

Mounties said the truck that hauled away the spas was also identified as Transport Pascal Charland from Chateauguay.

Cpl. Robert Harms said police are investigating whether the two crimes are related.

“There’s definitely some similarities,” he said Monday.

Police said while the truck that took the meat was described as burgundy-coloured, the truck in the hot tub heist is a white Volvo with a sleeper that was pulling a newer-looking flat deck.

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Police say that driver was described as a man between 30 and 40 years old, standing five feet six inches tall, with short brown hair and an unshaven face.

Photo of a white Volvo semi-truck involved in the theft of seven Arctic Spas hot tubs from a manufacturing site in Thorsby, Alta. on Sept. 2, 2020.
Photo of a white Volvo semi-truck involved in the theft of seven Arctic Spas hot tubs from a manufacturing site in Thorsby, Alta. on Sept. 2, 2020. Supplied by RCMP

Read more: Store in southern Alberta accuses meat plants of price gouging

Both Brooks and Thorsby RCMP are hoping the public can help identify the semis and its driver(s). Anyone with information is asked to contact the Brooks RCMP at 403-794-4400, Thorsby RCMP at 780-789-3951, or submit an anonymous tip via Crime Stoppers at 1.800.222.8477(TIPS) or online.

— With files from The Canadian Press