A pair who stole a shipment of wine from a Michelin-starred Spanish restaurant, worth $1.7 million, was given a four-year prison term.
According to a court decision handed down on Monday and seen by CNN, the Mexican woman and her boyfriend, a Romanian-Dutch national, departed the renowned Atrio restaurant in Caceres, western Spain, with 45 bottles of wine concealed in luggage bags and wrapped in hotel towels to prevent breakage.
The heist happened on October 27, 2021, and it was meticulously planned, according to the police at the time.
Two bottles from Chateau d’Yquem, a French winery, were included in the haul. One from 1806 cost €350,000 ($371,000) on Atrio’s wine menu, and the other was from 1883 and cost €45,000. According to the information given in the decision by the three-judge panel at the Caceres provincial court, numerous other bottles from well-known vineyards were from vintages in the 1990s and 2000s.
According to a court official, the couple’s names were withheld owing to privacy concerns on Tuesday.
In the months before the robbery, the couple had made three trips to the eatery. The woman used a phony Swiss passport to check into the nearby Atrio small luxury hotel on the night of the heist.
Afterwards, her boyfriend came up but didn’t say hello. It was shown in court that they then enjoyed a 14-course supper there, followed by a tour of the wine cellar.
For a $1.6 million wine heist at a Spanish hotel, two individuals were detained.
The woman called the front desk at around two in the morning and asked for a salad from room service and then a dessert. The front desk was unstaffed after the clerk, who claimed to be by himself at the hotel, finally complied to the demands. This is when the woman’s boyfriend opened the wine cellar using an electronic key he had stolen from the front desk.
At around five in the morning, the pair allegedly drove away from the hotel with the stolen bottles. They were ultimately apprehended in July 2022, according to the authorities, near the border between Montenegro and Croatia.
Although no wine has been found, the restaurant has received €753,000 in compensation from its insurance provider.
The guy and lady were each given a four-year prison term for armed robbery by the court. They were also mandated to pay €753,000 in damages.
Atrio is now listed as a three-star restaurant in the Michelin guide. Nevertheless, when the burglary happened, it only had two stars, a receptionist at the neighboring Atrio modest luxury hotel told CNN. The proprietors of the eatery, she claimed, had declined to comment on the verdict.
The decision said that the couple could appeal their punishment to a higher court.