For thieves in Chile, salmon is the new gold

Anecdotal evidence suggests the record high price that salmon attained this year is making it an attractive target for thieves in Chile, based on the spate of robberies over the past three months.

Two salmon trucks were the victims of separate robberies in July and August, while in May, a restaurant’s storage room was rid of seven slabs of frozen salmon by a lone-acting burglar.

In the July robbery, the stolen salmon was from producer Yadrán in Puerto Montt, Los Lagos and was valued at roughly US$115,000 (100 million Chilean pesos). The truck driver, who was transporting the salmon from Calbuco to the Port of Coronel, was assaulted in the process.

In August, 22 tons (44,000 lbs) of salmon were stolen from a truck in the Los Ríos region. Four people got out of a vehicle and overpowered the driver of the truck, tied him to the bunk and took him to the La Campana sector where they emptied the truck and left the driver without the keys, reported the local media.

The perpetrators in the truck robberies have not been arrested.

In May, surveillance video caught a man stealing seven vacuum-packed salmon slabs from the warehouse of a restaurant. The operator valued the stolen goods at US$150 (130,000 Chilean pesos). The man is known to Police because he has allegedly burglarized other commercial premises in Punta Arenas. He has been arrested.