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Chile Glacier Thief: Man Allegedly Stole 5 Metric Tons Of Ice From Chile's Fast Shrinking Glacier

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A Chilean man is skating on thin ice after he was allegedly caught with over 11,000 pounds (five metric tons) of glacial ice in a truck.

According to BBC News, the man, who was caught in the Patagonian town of Cochrane, was likely headed for the capital Santiago. The ice would have been sold for use as ice cubes at upscale bars and restaurants.

Although the illicit cargo was merely frozen water, glacial ice is prized in certain markets. According to The Santiago Times, the ice had an estimated value of over $6,200.

The ice, which, according to the BBC, will be used to water drought-stricken crops, came from the Jorge Montt glacier in Bernardo O'Higgins national park.

The glacier, seen above, retreated over half a mile between February 2010 and January 2011, according to the Associated Press. Not only is Jorge Montt the fastest melting glacier in Chile, it is, as The Guardian notes, "one of the world's fastest shrinking glaciers."

The unnamed truck driver has been charged with theft, "but prosecutors are also considering bringing charges under the national monuments act," reports BBC News.

Click here to see more images of the rapid retreat of Chile's Jorge Montt glacier between 2010 and 2011.

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