When Is A Cooler Too Cool? When People Keep Stealing Them

Image courtesy of Northwest Rafting Company

When you think of designer goods that are prime targets for thieves, you might think of stuff like handbags, jewelry, and clothing, perhaps. But coolers? Really?

Yes, really, there is one specific brand of cooler popular among the outdoorsy set that keeps getting stolen, reports the Wall Street Journal: it’s made by Yeti, a company that has a super popular line of luxury outdoor gear. The coolers are especially prized, with prices starting at $250 for the smaller models and up to $1,300 for a version that can hold two tuna or three dressed elk.

The coolers are designed to endure the rigors of nature, like say, a bear chomping on it. To that end, Yeti coolers earned a seal of approval from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, an organization dedicated to preserving grizzly habitats.

This popularity has driven the coolers to popularity not only among campers, but among thieves who have been swiping them from campers, stores, beaches, and boats all around the country, the WSJ notes.

Here’s just a taste of recently reported Yeti cooler crimes:

• Police in Mobile, AL are dealing with a suspected gang of Yeti Bandits who have been targeting store in coastal Alabama and Mississippi, stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.

• Yeti thieves in Cadiz, KY made friends with their victims one night at a local eatery, then tracked the men back to their lodge and stole nine Yeti coolers worth about $2,500 from pickups and boats, the local county sheriff’s deputy said.

• Police arrested two women in Paducah, KY in July accused of stealing $500 worth of soft-sided Yeti coolers from a grocery store — with the help of two toddlers they sat on top of the loot to hide it in their shopping cart.

It’s obvious why the coolers have become a target.

“They’re expensive, man,” one man currently in jail after being accused of stealing Yetis in a weeklong spree. “I get good money for them.”

The authorities agree.

“When you have $400 coolers,” one police detective sergeant told the WSJ, “people are going to start stealing them.”

Yeti Coolers Are Hot! No Really, People Are Stealing Them. [Wall Street Journal]

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