In "'Scrap Yards Are the New Pawn Shops,'" "Barely Afloat," and "Thieves Expand Their Horizons," I noted the long and growing list of atypical items that thieves -- many of whom are likely acting out of desperation -- have targeted, including transformers, storm drain covers, railroad tracks, air conditioners, meat, cemetary mementos, church collection plates and crosses, newpapers, utility poles, hot air balloons, and embalming fluid. Time's Moneyland blog points us to a few more in "5 Weird Things People Are Stealing While the Economy’s in Bad Shape":
Swine swindling! The fact that pork prices have soared to all-time highs must have helped enticed thieves to steal about 1,000 pigs from farms in Minnesota and Iowa. In one of the heists, 594 hogs, worth more than $100,000 disappeared. Apparently, the hog rustlers knew exactly which pigs to take: The stolen pigs were just the right size to sell at market, and the scale and planning involved show that this was a carefully planned operation. “You couldn’t just walk into a barn and take 150 pigs out in 10 minutes,” one farmer said. “It would take 30 to 45 minutes, at least, if you had a few people working the hogs.”
In a series of incidents in Atlanta, Chicago, and other cities, teams of thieves have broken into salons and beauty supply stores specifically to steal human hair, which is often imported from Malaysia and India, and is used for trendy weaves, wigs, and extensions. The criminals have resorted to smash-and-grab thefts, and even ramming trucks into storefronts in order to complete their hair heists. How much could the hair really be worth? In one instance, thieves made off with $70K to $90K worth of hair—which explains why they didn’t bother touching the cash register at all.
Any others to add to the list?