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French police arrest man for stealing 7,000 Burgundy wines – report

Côte de Beaune vineyards, near the village of Meursault.

French police arrested the 56-year-old man on suspicion of stealing Burgundy wines earlier this month, after CCTV footage reportedly connected him to theft of bottles at his most recent workplace.

A search on the suspect’s home uncovered many more wines that were believed to have been stolen, however. 

It’s now thought the man may have stolen more than 7,000 Burgundy wines from different employers in the Beaune area during a period spanning at least 15 years, according to Dijon-based media outlet Le Bien Public

It said the total haul was estimated to have a potential value of €500,000 (£428,000). Individual bottles were believed to range in value from under €100 to up to €1,000. 

A non-police source told the publication that there may be as many as 10,000 bottles connected to the case.

No wines or companies were identified, and the suspect was not named. 

State prosecutor Olivier Caracotch, based in the nearby city of Dijon, told Agence France Presse that the man was not believed to have sold any bottles that he allegedly stole, according to a report by France Bleu. It said the case was set to go to trial in the summer.

Beaune lies in the heart of Burgundy’s famous Côte d’Or. In 2015, vineyard parcels constituting 1,247 individual ‘climats’ across the area’s Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits sectors were added to the UNESCO world heritage list.

Beyond Burgundy’s borders, the region’s best wines have become a target for fine wine thieves, with observers connecting this to bottles’ scarcity – and high prices on the secondary market.

Recent high-profile wine heists have included break-ins at fine dining restaurants in different countries.

Last year, a couple were sentenced to prison for stealing fine wines, including top Burgundies, from Atrio hotel and restaurant in Spain.

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The post French police arrest man for stealing 7,000 Burgundy wines – report appeared first on Decanter.

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