After a hunt in Europe, they arrested the authors of the millionaire theft of 45 bottles of wine in a Spanish restaurant with Michelin stars

Bottles of Vin Jaune that will be auctioned this Saturday (Reuters)

The Spanish Police has clarified one of the most spectacular robberies in recent years and has arrested the Thieves of 45 valuable bottles of wine from the famous Atrio restaurant (Cáceres), awarded with two Michelin stars.

After months of investigations, the perpetrators of the coup fell while trying to cross from Montenegro to Croatia through the Karasovi Sutorina border post. The case is almost solved: nothing is known of the whereabouts of the bottles, as reported by the Police Infobae.

On the night of October 27, 2021, a woman who was staying at the Atrio hotel dined at the restaurant with a companion. Elegant looking, polite and with perfect English, the couple asked to visit the establishment’s cellar after dinner. It is common for customers to visit one of the best cellars in Spain.

After the visit, the couple went up to the room. As the man went down to the cellar, she called room service for more food.. She knew that the restaurant was already closed, but this allowed the people at the reception to be distracted. According to the Police, the man took advantage of that moment to go to the basement and access, with a master key, the pantry. It was 1:30 in the morning.

The security cameras show the man entering the warehouse and leaving it with three backpacks: one in each hand and one on his back.. To protect the bottles from hitting each other, the thieves protected them with towels from the room.

The theft was discovered the next morning. The couple had left the hotel at 5.30 in the morning.

The 45 stolen bottles were valued at 1,648,500 euros. Only one of them cost 300,000 euros. Among the loot, 38 bottles of Romanée Conti and, above all, the jewel in the crown of Atrio: an 1806 Chateau d’Yquem that the restaurant’s owners had purchased at Christie’s auction house in 2000.

Two days after being robbed, chef Toño Pérez and José Polo, his partner, released a statement showing their shock. “We have a feeling of desolation. Me [decía Polo] Yesterday I couldn’t get into the cellar. When I saw those empty shelves; I came down”. He explained in his day that the place of honor occupied by the 1806 Chateau d’Yquem was going “to remain empty. We will tell the story of what has happened to us” because “this robbery is already part of the history of Atrio”.

“That bottle was part of my personal history, almost part of me, of the history of Atrio, but also of Cáceres, of its citizens, of all lovers of the wine world; she is the bottleImpossible to replace for what effort, sacrifice and love for a profession and wine has entailed. 215 years of history of Spain, of wars, times of peace and the construction of a united Europe”noted the owners of Atrio.

The detainee is a man born in Romania but with nationality of the Netherlands and the woman has Mexican nationalityaccording to the police sources consulted. She stayed at the hotel with a forged Swiss document.

The robbery, say the investigators of the case, was planned with absolute professionalism and detail. The thieves came to visit Atrium three times before they struck.

Those now detained left Spain a few days after the robbery and began to travel through several European countries. The National Police launched an international operation until they were able to identify the thieves, two professionals. Agents from the National Police have participated in the investigation together with the Sirene Office, Europol, Interpol, the General Directorate of Criminal Police and the Gruda Border Police Station (Croatia) and the Spanish Interior Attaché Offices in Romania and the Netherlands.

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They stole a wine of 150,000 euros and another 44 very expensive bottles from a Spanish restaurant with two Michelin stars