$1.6M wine heist at Spanish hotel, two suspects arrested

A man and woman eluded arrest for nine months before being arrested at the Montenegro-Croatia border on Tuesday for stealing 45 bottles of wine from the Atrio restaurant in Cáceres , in western Spain, according to the Spanish National Police.

The total value of the stolen wine was €1,648,500 (about $1.68 million) and a single bottle was sold for €310,000, police said.

The heist took place on October 27, 2021 and was planned to the “minute detail,” with the thieves visiting the restaurant three times to prepare for the attack, authorities said.

“The suspects showed a high level of professionalism, expertise and proper planning,” added the police statement.

Investigators found that the woman had checked into the Atrio hotel using a fake Swiss document, and had dinner with her boyfriend.

The two suspects were given a tour of the winery by staff, which is routine, according to police.

They went up to their hotel room together, but the man left a few moments later and went home.

A second figure is shown leaving the stage.

He got in using the stolen master key, and left a few minutes later with three large suitcases filled with stolen wine, stuffed with hotel towels. put the bottles away.

While he was stealing the wine, the woman diverted the staff by asking for some food to be prepared, police said, even though the kitchen was closed.

Employees discovered the missing bottles the next morning, but the suspects left the building around 5 a.m.

The thieves left Spain a few days after the heist and moved around European countries, making it difficult for agents to pinpoint their exact location, police said.

Dramatic video shows an off-duty police officer stopping an armed robbery in Spain

But they finally got access to Croatia from Montenegro at the Karasovi Sutorina border.

The Spanish police praised the “effective cooperation” between national and international investigators from the authorities with Interpol.

At the time of his arrest, the suspect had two other warrants from a court in Madrid, police said.

The most valuable bottle is 1806 Château D’Yquem, José Polo, the owner and sommelier of the restaurant, told Decanter magazine in November 2021.

Polo said he would buy back the stolen bottles from the thieves, including the 1806 Château D’Yquem.

“Rather than bottles of wine, they robbed us of our dreams,” he told Decanter.

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