The Great Crab Heist: 25,000 Pounds of King Crab Stolen En Route to Seattle

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REUTERS/Terje Bendiksby/Scanpix

Anybody seen a 25,000-pound truckload of Russian king crab lying around? Yeah, authorities searching for it after it went missing during a delivery to Seattle haven’t seen it either.

After an independent trucker—whose credentials now appear to be bogus—loaded up his rig at a cold-storage warehouse in Los Angeles with more than $400,000 worth of crab, the truck hasn’t been seen since. But authorities aren’t too concerned about the driver’s safety; instead they want to find the mastermind of the crab heist.

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Three days after leaving L.A. the seemingly legitimate trucker reported to New Sound Transportation, a Pacific Northwest company contracting to have the shipment delivered, that he was in Oregon and facing mechanical issues with his truck. He never showed in Seattle and New Sound looked into the driver, finding he was a fraud.

With crab prices still on the rise, the theft has obvious benefits to whoever sits behind the caper. But since New Sound doesn’t disclose the contents of its cargo when advertising for drivers, the company isn’t sure how long the theft took to plan.

Andrew Feoktistov of Vitan Enterprises, owners of the crab, says the entire episode sounds like Miami Vice.

Such seafood robbery isn’t as uncommon as you might think. In fact, a load of shrimp was hijacked at gunpoint a decade ago and lobster tails were once hidden in a Midwest restaurant’s false freezer wall. Maybe that’s where all the king crab hides now.

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