Athens police investigating toothpick heist

Athens-Clarke police are trying to track down thieves who stole nearly 400,000 toothpicks from a local toothpick manufacturer.

Six cases of toothpicks went missing from Armond’s Manufacturing Company Inc., 95 Trade St., about two weeks ago, and another seven cases disappeared last weekend, according to police.

Each case contained 288 packages of 100 toothpicks, which brings the total number of purloined picks to 374,400.

The plastic toothpicks have a total value of $2,808, police said.

No signs of forced entry were found after either burglary, police said, and the owner believes the toothpick heist either was an inside job or a former employee with a key, police said.

Two current employees told the owner they were at the J&J Flea Market on Commerce Road on Saturday when they saw a man walking around selling containers of Armond’s green MicroPicks, according to police. The employees could only describe the toothpick hawker as a Hispanic man, police said, and the business owner told officers that the man at the flea market may have gotten the contraband from current or former employees.

In addition to the MicroPicks, the thieves also stole cases of white ProPicks, police said.

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