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Expert: Cheese heist thief 'complete imbecile'

Posted: 7:54 PM, Jan 26, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-27 13:25:31Z

Tyson Wehrmeister, co-owner, general manager and buyer for Mars Cheese Castle, considers himself a cheese aficionado.

"We lost all this cheese for somebody who's a complete imbecile," he said.

Wehrmeister and other cheese experts tell TODAY'S TMJ4 thefts don't happen much.

In the most recent case, about $70,000 of cheese stolen in Germantown was found in Milwaukee. An estimated $90,000 in Parmesan hasn't been recovered.

The Germantown thieves tried to sell their loot for less than a dollar. Wehrmeister said that was the crooks' mistake.

"If they were going to steal it and take it to someplace, they should have brought it to Chicago, to Little Italy, and they would have had a much easier way to sell that there," he said.

He and a Sargento expert we spoke with can't imagine a shop selling stolen goods.

"No one who's a retailer like myself or a restaurateur are going to take that cheese without knowing where it came from," said Wehrmeister.

He explains there's a process involving the FDA, USDA and Department of Agriculture to track every step of the cheese process from its origin to the retail front.

While the crooks could face federal charges, Wehrmeister said worse is the loss to Wisconsin's most popular industry.

"I know a lot of cheesemakers that if they took that kind of hit, they'd be out of business," he said. "A cheese like that, not available for use, it saddens me."