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Men arrested in theft of bright orange cheese vans

Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:42:39 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 17 2014 10:18:50 AM CDT
Tillamook cheese vans Maness Photography

Two men were arrested on suspicion of stealing three bright orange Volkswagen minibuses that were customized to look like cheese loafs from an Oregon-based cheese factory.

The Associated Press and KCRA report that police said Brian Lancaster, 32, and Ryan Monaco, 38, both of Sacramento, were taken into custody during a traffic stop.

The vehicles were stolen Saturday from a hotel parking lot in Manteca, California where they had stopped on a tour promoting the company's dairy products.

A tip led investigators to a storage locker about 50 miles away from Manteca, where the vehicles where discovered.

Lancaster and Monaco were being held for investigation of auto theft, possession of stolen vehicles, conspiracy and arson.

Each custom-made minibus is worth $100,000 each, which is why Tillamook was offering a $10,000 reward their safe recovery.

The Tillamook County Creamery Association released a statement on their website, which read (in part):

We are thrilled with this news and extremely pleased to be able to recover our beloved cheese buses. Tillamook would like to express sincere appreciation to the law enforcement agencies who have been tirelessly working this case over the past few days, as well as to all of the media outlets and loyal Tillamook fans that helped spread the word about our missing vehicles. While this kind of senseless crime is shocking and saddening, we are grateful for this happy ending.


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