What the Pluck?! Thief Abandons Truck of Rotting Chicken in Montana

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The police are usually happy when they find stolen property — but not when it's an unrefrigerated truck full of raw chicken left to rot in a sun-blistered parking lot.

The stolen semi-trailer at the Flying J truck stop in Wye, Montana, caught the attention of law enforcement this week because it was leaking rancid poultry juice. "It's absolutely disgusting," said Paige Pavalone, a spokeswoman for the Missoula County Sheriff's Office.

She said a trace of the vehicle revealed that it belonged to Dixie River Freight in Nampa, Idaho, which reported it stolen after the driver didn't arrive at his destination and then held the cargo for ransom. The company declined to pay, so the driver dumped the trailer — and the 35,000 pounds of chicken inside — and took off in the rig sometime last week. The driver remains at large.

The freighter's insurance company said the trailer has to remain in place while they investigate, so county health officials are trying to figure out how to remove and dispose of the revolting contents, Pavalone said.

— Tracy Connor