As the Christmas holidays approach, so do thefts. This year thieves are targeting prestigious wines, which seem to be seen as low-risk and high-reward compared to other luxury items, with starred Michelin restaurants in France and famous wine cellars among the victims.
Image courtesy of: Wine Business Watch
Recent months have seen a spate of thefts of prestigious wines from across France, such as Georges Blanc"s Michelin-starred restaurant in Vonnas, as well as from individual merchants in the Aquitaine region and from prestigious wine cellars in Paris. Police say these thefts increase every year in the run-up to the Christmas holidays.
On December 8, several bottles of Chteau Ptrus, full cases of Romane Conti, Grand Cru wines from Iquem and some Chteau Margaux were seized. The French police have sealed the scene and found more than 900 bottles of stolen wine in the Dordogne, Gironde and Loire regions, with a total value of more than 5 million euros (about 40 million yuan). The theft was orchestrated by a super-organized gang. Patrick Lonard, inter-regional director of the Bordeaux (Gironde) judicial police, said: "These burglars are very professional and they know how to break the existing security measures.
To break through this vast criminal network, French police conducted two simultaneous arrests. The police were heavily armed and arrested a total of 25 people, including the alleged sponsors of these thefts.
Because these prestigious wines are considered a luxury item, they are often seen as targets by theft gangs, especially abroad, and remain very easy to steal. For burglary gangs, they can get a big return with little risk," said Yoann Maras of the Union Police 75 League. To protect these prestigious wines, merchants are improving the security of their cellars. The manager of des Caves de Montquartiers offers safe deposit boxes to customers, and has installed surveillance and motion detectors in the cellars. For lovers and sellers of these prestigious wines, it is vital to ensure the security of the cellars.