Yes, it's true: As our friends over at Modern Farmer remind us today, taking (or long-term borrowing, whatever you want to call it) milk crates from legit dairies or supermarkets for your personal use is, um, a crime! (At least if you have more than five.) Which is too bad, because as we all know, they're incredibly useful, very-low-cost storage containers for many things, including vinyl records, or whatever needs to go on the back of your bicycle. The theft of milk crates is estimated to cost the dairy industry $80 million a year, and is a serious-enough thing that there's a whole website dedicated to the problem. You cyclists and vinyl hoarders aren't exactly the scourge of the industry; the worst offenders are large-scale thieving operations, which grind the crates up and usually recycle the material.
But dairy crates are made of petroleum-based plastic, which takes considerable environmental resources to produce. Each one costs dairies about $4. So go buy your own already.