Yes, really. Some shops in the US state are protecting the mystery meat by locking it in plastic cases usually saved for pricier items like razors and batteries, the Washington Post reports.
The beefed-up security follows a series of thefts, including a man who grabbed eight cases and ran for the exit and three women who were thwarted by another customer when they tried to make a break with 18.
The Honolulu Police Department are even offering a $1,000 reward for a thief and his accomplice that attacked a security guard who tried to protect his employer’s Spam.
Bizarre right? But it turns out the canned meat is incredibly popular in Hawaii with its residents eating five million tonnes every year.
The result is a thriving black market, according to the President of the Retail Merchants of Hawaii, Tina Yamaki.
“It’s organized retail crime,” she said. “It’s not like, ‘I’m going in to steal Spam to feed my family. We’ve heard they work through middlemen. We’ve heard that they’re selling it from the back of their cars.”
We’re just shaking our heads.