Italian Thieves Hold Wine For Ransom

Restaurants are often targets for criminals, but a group of Italian thieves came up with a dastardly but creative plot to steal a restaurant's wine and then hold it for ransom.

According to The Local, three men reportedly broke into a restaurant in Italy a little less than a year ago and stole 230 bottles of very good wine. Police said the thieves' haul was worth an estimated €40,000. The wine was worth about €200 on average, but some of the pricier bottles were worth up to €1,000, and those were wholesale prices, too. The restaurant would have made a lot more than €40,000 if they'd actually been able to sell the wines to customers.

The thieves did not intend to sell the wine to collectors or even to drink it themselves, though, because the restaurant owners soon got a call saying they could have all their wine back safe and sound for €15,000. The thieves told the owners that if they didn't pay, the wines would be destroyed, presumably by being drunk over a long series of evenings.

Ten months after the initial crime, police say they've arrested the three men responsible. They did not, however, say whatever happened to the stolen wine.