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When a worm-related crime wriggled onto The National ... again

Like an expert angler, The National was attempting to hook viewers on a story with the help of some worms.

Forty years ago, the theft of '1 million nightcrawlers' made the nightly news

The National reports on a large-scale theft of earthworms from a Toronto bait shop in 1979. 0:18

Like an expert angler, The National was attempting to hook viewers on a story with the help of some worms.

"In Toronto, it seems, people will steal almost anything — including worms," anchor Knowlton Nash told viewers on August 14, 1979.

The brief report told viewers about the theft of some 1,800 boxes of worms from a Toronto bait shop.

"That's 1 million nightcrawlers," Nash said, adding a helpful conversion for the viewers at home.

The value of the stolen worms was a reported $40,000, according to The National.

The National reported that thieves had taken 1 million nightcrawlers from a Toronto bait shop in August 1979. (The National/CBC Archives)

It was at least the second time in two months that the news program had run a story on worm-related crime.

The prior story had focused on a police investigation into for-profit worm growing.

To loyal viewers at home who weren't that into worms, it may have seemed the newsgatherers at The National were having to do a lot of digging for stories that year.