By The Associated Press
SYDNEY, Australia — Thieves stole 17.6 tons of ham and bacon from a warehouse and left behind a message busting the owners' chops, police said Monday.
''Thanks,'' the crooks daubed on a wall of the Zammit Ham and Bacon curers warehouse in suburban Sydney. ''Merry Christmas.''
Police said the robbery occurred some time between late afternoon Saturday and dawn Sunday.
Owner Anthony Zammit said that when he arrived for work Monday he found a hole in a wall of the building where the thieves appeared to have entered. The stolen meat was worth up to $88,000, he said.
Zammit said he was offering a $4,420 reward for anyone who helped to recover the meat, and that his company would work overtime to make sure all its Christmas orders were filled.
''We're working 24 hours a day, seven days a week and put on extra staff,'' he said. ''We won't let anyone down.''