MILKING THE MILKERS 

Yes, Virginia, real old-fashioned stick-up artists do still exist--and not just in dark urban alleyways. Four masked men held up six milking barns in Gooding and Jerome counties around midnight on September 20, causing some Idaho dairies to consider increasing (that is, adding for the first time) security guards.

According to a report in the Twin Falls Times-News, the four men were described by witnesses as two black men and two Hispanic men carrying handguns and wearing masks over their faces. In a single night, they knocked over the County Line, Canyonside, DeWit, Aardema No. 5, Alves and Stouder Holsteins dairies. Their method was so straightforward, we're thinking more than a few employees must have initially suspected it to be a joke: The men walked into the milking barn or "parlor," brandished weapons and yelled, "Hand over your money" at people who were busy milking cows.

At one dairy, an employee was robbed of $850. At another, the only milker on duty didn't have any money, so the robbers asked for his car keys. Then, in a scene straight out of Raising Arizona, the robbers reportedly got spooked and ran away before they could steal the man's car.

On Thursday, October 1, authorities served a warrant at a Jerome residence and reportedly found guns and other items believed to have been used in the robberies. Gooding County Sheriff Shaun Gough also told local media the thieves were apparently familiar with the workings of dairies, as milkers are usually paid on the fifth and 20th of the month. We're not so sure about that explanation, since even the most generous milk cows aren't known for the ability to cash checks. In any event, the suspects are armed, dangerous and may have white moustaches.

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