In January 2016, a similar theft took place when two Milwaukee men stole a tractor truck from the Northwest Side and drove it to D&G Transport’s refrigerated warehouse in Germantown, which regularly serves as a depot for trucks full of cheese and other products. There the two men hooked the truck up to a cheese-filled trailer worth some $70,000 and drove away. Little did the curd burglars realize their truck had a GPS tracking device on it that recorded their movements, including a trip to the Silver Spring Meat Market on Milwaukee’s Northwest Side, where the proprietor purchased the cheese. Eventually the thieves returned the tractor, slightly banged up, in Milwaukee.
Police were able to find one of the men, Larrelle Henderson of Milwaukee, by way of the phone number he’d used to contact the grocer. In court, Henderson received three years of probation and about $75,000 in restitution. Prosecutors also charged Tracy Steed of Milwaukee as an accomplice, although he remains at large. The cheese itself was destroyed, and Germantown police weren’t able to get a confession from the store’s owner. However, “Common sense would prevail that he knew it was stolen,” says Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell. Hoell says the theft appears to have been a one-off and not connected to an organized cheese ring.