Chilean police put glacier theft scheme on ice

The Northern Patagonian Ice Field, located in the Laguna San Rafael National Park, south of Santiago, Chile. The Northern Patagonian Ice Field is a vestige of a large ice sheet that covered much of Patagonia million years ago.
Getty Images

SANTIAGO, Chile - Chilean police say they've cracked a scheme to steal ice from a disappearing glacier.

The driver of a refrigerator truck was stopped cold in far southern Patagonia, carrying five tons of ice they say was carved from icebergs from the Jorge Montt glacier.

His plan was to deliver the ice to Santiago, nearly 1,400 miles to the north, where a company apparently hoped to sell it as ice cubes to upscale bars and restaurants. Now he's under arrest for robbery. The ice block was worth about $6165, according to the Guardian.

Regional Forestry Director Juan Eduardo Barrientos wouldn't identify any of the suspects on Friday, but said the company had been calling various public officials in hopes of liberating the ice.

Instead, Barrientos said, it's been put in tanks for use as irrigation on farms suffering from drought.