That may sound like hyperbole — to anyone who doesn't enjoy syrup. But the theft comes at a vulnerable time for maple syrup supplies. The Canadian federation notes that U.S. syrup producers suffered "a very low, indeed catastrophic, harvest during the 2012 season.""In total, the burglarized warehouse held over 10 million pounds of maple syrup amounting to over 30 million dollars in value," according to the syrup federation.

The Quebec syrup producers' group says it has about 10,000 members and "is responsible for the administration of the bulk maple syrup sales agency as well as the global strategic maple syrup reserve."

That figure is in Canadian dollars. At current exchange rates, it represents $30.4 million. And the criminals seem to have been very crafty, siphoning the syrup into other containers so they could leave behind what looked like undisturbed barrels of amber sweetness.As police investigate, the federation and an audit firm are giving the warehouse a careful examination to learn how much syrup was stolen.

The syrup federation's president, Serge Beaulieu, insists that the reserves are adequately secured and monitored. And, he notes, "The sales agency's maple syrup inventory is spread across several storage locations that were not subject to theft."