Recently, two separate and unrelated wine thefts occurred in England and Canada, that resulted in the theft of a combined total of $356,570 worth of wine. In both cases, the stolen wines were easily identified, but the guilty party has yet to be found.
The first robbery occurred in Hampshire, England, between the evening of June 17 and the morning of June 18. In total, £100,000 of wine was taken, or roughly $156,850. That amounts to several hundred cases of wine. The bottles were stolen from a private company, Alexander Hadleigh. The four thieves reportedly broke into the storage units of the company’s headquarters and spent nearly three hours on the property, before stealing a car with which to transport their loot. Alexander Hadleigh is the only company to import the brand that was stolen to England; the police are hoping this helps the investigation. Owner Del Taylor says of the incident, "From what I understand of it they’ve done a blitz on the area, it wasn’t just my business they got, but mine was the only wine merchant … [the stolen wine] was a mixture of working stock — some was reserved for events and customers. A lot of it is irreplaceable because some of the wine is no longer being made."
The second theft took place in Canada where 5,200 bottles of wine were robbed from Blackwood Lane Vineyards and Winery, a winery in Langley, British Columbia. While the police cannot yet pinpoint an exact time for this robbery, they believe it occurred on the night of June 18 after 6 p.m. The burglars took roughly CAD $200,000, about USD $199,720. In total there were four different types of wine stolen, including cabernet sauvignon and rosé. There were also several pallets of vintage wine taken (a pallet of wine is equal to roughly 56 cases, or about 670 bottles). Since the 7-year-old winery only makes between 1,000 and 5,000 cases a year, Blackwood Lane is particularly distraught about their loss. The owner described the stolen wines as, "...truly a collector’s bottle." The police haven’t reported how the wine was taken off the premises.
While fine wine will always be a high-ticket item, these thefts demonstrate just how far some people will go to get their hands on the good stuff. Let's hope that this ends this rash of wine thefts for awhile to protect the sellers working hard on creating their unique bottles.