A group of French wine thieves may be experiencing a case of sour grapes after they escaped, but had to abandon their haul of fine wine worth hundreds of thousands of euros in order to get away.
Early on Tuesday, the burglars broke into the cellar at the Domaine de Rymska, a hotel in the Burgundy region known for its wine, and stole bottles estimated to be worth the equivalent of nearly $430,000, Decanter reported, citing Le Journal de Saône-et-Loire, a local newspaper.
The thieves loaded the stolen wine into a van and were ready to escape, but they inadvertently set off a fire alarm during the break-in, according to the reports. That woke up the hotel’s owner, who called police.
Officers soon found the thieves’ van driving southbound toward the city of Lyon. In an effort to slow down the pursuing officers, the thieves threw some of the stolen bottles at them, according to the reports.
None of the thrown bottles hit the police, who chased the crooks until the van crashed into a toll barrier.
The thieves ran away after the crash, leaving behind the stolen wine.
Prosecutors are working to identify three suspects in the case.
The hotel’s restaurant has an extensive wine list with many offerings priced at hundreds of euros and some in the thousands. The most expensive is priced at the equivalent of nearly $20,000.
Incredibly, this was the second major wine theft from the hotel in two days. Thieves made off with wines worth more than $240,000 the night before, according to the reports.
Police weren’t immediately sure whether the two heists were related.