Pre-New Year heist: 550 boxes of culinary herbs looted in Moscow
Moscow: An audacious heist in Moscow has threatened to cripple the New Year festivities. Police said Friday robbers made away with 557 boxes of dill and parsley, the nation's staple culinary herbs.
Four men approached the truck driver transporting the herbs when he stopped in southern Moscow, police told Vechernyaya Moskva newspaper.
The attackers forced the trucker into their Mercedes at gunpoint, put a jacket over his head and drove him away.
Eight hours later, they dropped him back by his truck, but by that time it had been emptied.
Damages from the heist are estimated at 500,000 rubles ($16,500).
Dill is ubiquitous in Russia. In Russian cuisine, it is sprinkled generously on anything from beetroot soup borsht, to Olivier salad and even caviar sandwiches.
The annual per capita consumption of dill in Russia was estimated at 1.6 kg, according to a 2011 report by major greenhouse provider Agrotip.
This is the second pre-New Year food heist in days. Earlier this week, 37 tonnes of potatoes were stolen from a storage facility in Moscow region.
A female fraudster presented fake invoices and drove away with two truckloads of the vegetable worth 260,000 rubles ($9,000), police said.