Thieves in France have targeted a hotel 50 miles outside of Dijon, in the Burgundy region, stealing over $600,000 worth of wine in two, possibly connected, heists.
Early on Monday morning, a team made off with nearly $250,000 worth of wine from the Domaine de Rymska Saint-Jean-de-Trézy hotel, according to an article published by The Drinks Business. The robbery was discovered after the thieves escaped undetected.
A second team broke in early the next morning — some speculate this group could have been the same individuals who broke in before — and made off with another $427,000 in wine.
This time, the burglary triggered an alarm that awoke the owner of the hotel, allowing him to follow the team’s van while calling the police.
A patrol car was able to catch up with the thieves once they hit the A6 motorway, leading to a high-speed chase. The team began throwing bottles out of the van at their pursuers, though no bottles hit the patrol car head-on. The thieves later crashed after trying to speed through a toll booth but they were able to flee on foot and abandon the van full of stolen goods.
This heist follows a string of wine-related burglaries in France, including a 20-bottle heist worth $60,000 at the Caves de Taillevent wine store in Paris last October. Late last year, police tracked down another wine-stealing network with locations in the Gironde, Dordogne, and Loire and recovered over $6 million in stolen goods.
Police are still searching for three suspects connected to the car-chase, as well as the initial haul stolen from the hotel.