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Man Arrested For Stealing $200K Of Wisconsin Cheese

By Samantha Abernethy in Food on Mar 28, 2013 8:30PM

Photo Credit: Jonathan Lurie

An Illinois man was arrested in New Jersey for allegedly stealing 21 tons of Muenster in Wisconsin. That totally ruins the punchline to our favorite childish joke: What kind of cheese doesn't belong to you?*

Veniamin Konstantinovich Balika, 34, of Plainfield, Ill., allegedly gave false paperwork to K&K Cheese, aka the Old Country Cheese Factory, in Cashton, Wis., in Amish country. Balika took off with an 18-wheeler loaded with 42,000 pounds of cheese, which was supposed to go to Texas, but instead was headed for the black market.

Balika was caught in New Jersey with the hot cheese and arrested at a service area on the turnpike. Madison Channel 3000 writes:

"There's a black market for everything," said [New Jersey State Police Detective 1 Oliver] Sissman. "We've seen everything stolen. We've found stolen beer, stolen food, stolen machine parts, but this is the first time, we've found stolen cheese.

"When I looked inside and saw stolen cheese, I thought, of course it's from Wisconsin," said Sissman.

Unfortunately the company can't take the cheese back because they don't know if it's been tainted. New Jersey health authorities will inspect and then charity can cut the cheese if it's deemed safe.

"The trucking company we contract with will take care of the money we lost, but it's still a shame," said Kevin Everhart, the general manager of K & K. "Still sad that this happened."

* Nacho Cheese