Chilean Glacier Ice Heist Lands Thieves in Hot Water


Written by Stephen Messenger, Treehugger

As a result of climate change, Chile’s Jorge Montt Glacieráreceded nearly a half-mile just last year alone — but, as it turns out, global warming isn’t the only thing robbing the region of its ice cover. Recently, Chilean police arrested members of a crime ring as they drove a refrigerated truck filled with over 5 tons of ice stolen from the already dwindling glacier. Authorities say they’ve never seen a case quite like this before — of ‘hot’ ice, that is.

According to a report fromáEFE, police were first tipped that a great glacier heist was underway last week along Chile’s rapidly melting Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Yesterday, police arrested one man as he was transporting the cold loot; six others involved in the ice thieving ring were later identified as well and charged with ‘simple theft’. The going price for all that ice, 5.7 tons in total, is reported to be upwards of $6,200.

Authorities suspect that thieves were planning on selling the ice to bars and restaurants.

Never before, say police, has stealing glacial ice ever landed anyone in hot water like this, so the charges may in fact be escalated to include crimes against Chile’s national heritage.

“It’s the first time denouncing a situation of this nature,” says JosÚ Moris, regional prosecutor behind the investigation.

While this may be the first occasion that police have caught glacier thieves cold-handed, its certainly not the only time human activities have resulted in missing ice. In recent years, due to rising temperatures associated with climate change, theáJorge Montt Glacier has been in dramatic retreat, losing as much as 7 miles of ice coverage in as many years.

In other words, lest the global community makes genuine strides to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gas emissions, we are all responsible for committing a similar injustice — even if we never had to put on our mittens to do it.

This post originally appeared on Treehugger.

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Photo credit: dbeck03


Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe6 years ago

Oh my lands!!! Stealing ice from a glacier is just plain stupid! It has already had enough taken away with Global warming. Leave it alone so it can be appreciated for the way it is.

Jay Williamson
Jay w6 years ago

i find this bizarre that they can prosecute for this

i agree they shouldnt be stealing it because the way the climate change is but to actually prosocute is just bizarre

SeattleAnn S.
Ann S6 years ago

What a bunch of goons.

David Anderson
David Anderson6 years ago

Kathy P.
6:36pm PST on Feb 3, 2012
wow. thats is almost funny, not really but to steal ICE. who thought that up?

Stefanie D.
6:41pm PST on Feb 2, 2012
Absurd... if no one can OWN the ICE, nobody can really STEAL it if they take it...

I am waiting for the day that breathing without a license results in being charged with stealing air!

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B6 years ago


Cheryl B.
Cheryl B6 years ago


Dr Clue
Dr Clue6 years ago

There seems to be this strange global desire to consume that which is going extinct, or otherwise finite , be it tigers,sharks,fossil fuels, or in this case glacial martini ice.

I've never really herd of insanity being a product of birth, but things like this do give one pause.

Jennifer C.
Past Member 6 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Russell R.
Russell R6 years ago

In defence of the guy caught taking the ice. He was saving energy! Its "Energy Efficient Ice"

Carol C.
Carol Cox6 years ago

I'm so glad Anna thinks global warming isn't real! so the change in weather is what? warm spells that melt snow ahead of time (like in January) and causing flooding, monsoon rains in unusual places and months... drought in usually rainny places? Global warming. and who causes it? WE do! with all our cars, electric demands, excessive water use, waste dumping..etc.. must i say more? Global Warming is REAL and it is a mortal virus with out antidote so far.