With the typical dine-and-dash customer, a restaurant might just write off the entire situation as a loss. However, it took the police nine months to find a couple who had dinner and then left with around $1.6 million worth of wine.
Last October, a couple made international headlines when 45 wine bottles worth an incredible $1.6 million were taken from the two-Michelin-starred Atrio restaurant and hotel in Caceres, Spain. The robbers were well aware of their goals; they allegedly used a phony name to book a hotel before having dinner there.
According to Decanter, the stolen bottles included over 20 bottles of Romanée-Conti, the Burgundy producer who holds the record for the most expensive bottle ever sold, with vintages ranging from 1990 to 2012. They also included 10 vintages of Chateau d’Yquem dating from 1806 to 1901.
The 1806 Chateau d’Yquem bottle alone was priced by the restaurant at over $350,000, according to iNews.
The man allegedly crept back down to the wine cellar after lunch while the woman requested more food after the kitchen had already closed, according to The Guardian. The couple then allegedly returned to their hotel after touring the wine cellar.
The police were quoted as saying that after using a previously stolen master key to gain access, he emerged with three large rucksacks—one on his back and two in each hand—which held the bottles he had stashed, and which were stuffed with hotel towels to protect the bottles.
After being seen entering Croatia from Montenegro, the two were eventually caught. Interpol and Europol helped coordinate a continental operation that resulted in their detention. The male suspect, according to The Telegraph, was recognized in part because he had previously been detained for attempting to steal expensive wine bottles.
It was unknown where Atrio’s wine was at the moment. “We don’t have any official information.” I’m hoping they were able to find the bottles. ” According to Jose Polo, one of the restaurant’s owners, El Mundo. We’re hoping to get our most priceless bottles back.