‘For decades, college kids have used stolen milk crates as the basic building blocks of coffee tables and dorm room shelves.
Now, a new breed of crate rustler is cashing in by swiping thousands of the containers from loading docks and selling them to shady recyclers.
The containers are chopped into bits and shipped to booming factories in China to be made into a variety of products, from pipes to flower pots.
Facing an estimated $80 million in annual losses from the thefts, dairies across the country are moving to stop the plastic pilfering. In California, companies are even hiring private detectives and staging sting operations.’