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Thieves Pelt Police With Bottles of Fine Wine

French hotel has been robbed of $700K worth of wine
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2021 7:48 PM CST

(Newser) – The owner of the Relais Château hotel in France’s Burgundy region has plenty of reason to whine: The five-star hotel’s cellar has been raided twice in the last couple of days, the Guardian reports, with thieves making off with total of nearly $700,000 worth of fine wines. The latest heist, which occurred early Tuesday, led to a car chase during which the thieves began throwing bottles of stolen wine at pursuing police. The bottles missed, authorities say, and no one was hurt. After the getaway van crashed into a barrier some 20 miles north of Lyon, the Burgundy burglars reportedly fled on foot. An investigation is underway, and police are searching for at least three suspects.

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In the Tuesday burglary, an alarm alerted the hotel owner to the theft in progress. He hopped in his vehicle and pursued the thieves while calling police for backup. Just 24 hours before, thieves broke into the same cellar undetected. Police are investigating whether the incidents are related. Booze theft is not uncommon in France: Last month, authorities in Bordeaux arrested 25 people they say were part of a ring stealing and selling fine wines and whiskies, per Wine Spectator. In that case, known as Operation Magnum, police recovered 900 bottles of wine worth $6 million, Food & Wine reports, in what they called the “seizure of the century.” (Read more crime stories.)

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