Authorities are searching for a man and woman suspected of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of wine, including a rare 215-year-old bottle, from an upscale hotel-restaurant complex in Spain.
José Polo, the owner of the two-Michelin-starred restaurant Atrio, told the Associated Press that the theft took place early last Wednesday morning.
The English-speaking suspects distracted the hotel’s desk clerk with a task, leaving security cameras unmonitored and the male half of the duo free to sneak into the cellars. The couple were staying at the hotel as guests, and had dined at the restaurant that same night. When they checked out early the next morning, they reportedly left with bags full of wine bottles.
“They were professionals, they knew exactly what they were doing,” Polo stated.
Atrio’s vast cellar holds over 40,000 bottles of wine, many of which are extremely old and valuable. Among the 45 bottles taken by the thieves was an 1806 Château d’Yquem valued at £295,000 (approximately $407,000), and six bottles of Romanée-Conti dating back to the 19th-century.
Polo believes that the couple may be working with a private collector because many of the missing bottles are so rare that they would instantly be recognized as stolen from Atrio.
“Those bottles are very numbered and controlled. That 1806 Yquem is unique; everyone knows it’s ours,” Polo said.
Local authorities are currently investigating the case.