They didn't want expensive paintings or fine jewelry, they wanted wine - and they knew why. On their thieving rampage through the wine cellars of Spain, a long-fingered couple stole liquid treasures worth millions. Almost a year and a half after the spectacular theft of 45 valuable wine bottles from a hotel restaurant, a Spanish court has sentenced the thieves to several years in prison. The man has been in prison for four and a half years, his accomplice for four years. In addition, the two must pay 753,454 euros in compensation to the hotel, as the provincial court of Cáceres decided on Monday.
The cinematic burglary in the wine cellar of the three-star restaurant "Atrio" in the southwestern Spanish city of Cáceres made international headlines in October 2021. According to the investigation, the couple, who, according to media reports, are a former Mexican beauty queen and a Dutch-Romanian citizen, had meticulously prepared the coup.
Accordingly, the woman initially checked into the hotel with a fake Swiss passport. After a 14-course meal, she and her partner were given a tour of the famous wine cellar before retiring to their hotel room. At two in the morning the woman called the front desk and asked for a salad. The employee, who worked alone at night, initially refused, but eventually allowed himself to be persuaded by the pushing woman.
While the hotel employee was preparing the salad, the woman's partner stole an electronic door card, which, however, could not be used to open the wine cellar. He informed his partner, who then asked the receptionist for dessert.
The second attempt with a master key worked: The man packed 45 bottles worth a total of 1.64 million euros in a backpack and two large bags and took them to the hotel room before the hotel employee returned to reception. The prize also included the restaurant's pride: a bottle of Chateau d'Yquem from 1806, priced at 350,000 euros.
According to the Spanish police, the nervous couple had visited the three-star restaurant a total of three times to prepare for their coup. It was finally caught in July 2022 in Croatia.