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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 February 2007, 19:07 GMT
Huge cheese haul stolen in France
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Police in eastern France are investigating the theft of 700kg (1,500lbs) of cheese.

A gang broke into a dairy near the city of Besancon and made off with comte, raclette and morbier cheeses, with a value of 900 euros ($1,800; 600).

In addition, they also took up to 40kg of butter and two knives in the overnight raid.

Police said the investigation would try to establish what kind of criminal would be interested in such a haul.

The Doubs region is a key cheese-producing area.

The thieves smashed a window to break into the dairy in the town of Chantrans and emptied the fridges.

The BBC's Alasdair Sandford in France says morbier is a soft cheese with what has been described as a slightly objectionable smell.

The owner, Jerome Monnin, said this was his second burglary in a year, after 30 years in the business with no problems.

A police spokesman said cheese thefts happened occasionally, although he was not aware of a growing market in stolen produce.


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