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Hollywood-ready theft in Los Angeles: half a million dollars worth of wine stolen

Roped off like a Hollywood blockbuster; a brazen thief in California recently staged a wine theft straight from a crime novel.

With a keen sense for the best vintages and a touch of finesse reminiscent of cinematic heist stories, this sophisticated crook pulled off a late night coup at an exclusive wine shop in Venice, California.

Choreographed like "Ocean's Eleven"

The daring raid proceeded like a carefully choreographed dance. Above the roof of the wine cellar of "Lincoln Fine Wines" a hole appeared around midnight, which led directly into the opulent world full of oenophilic treasures. With a cinematic flourish the thief lowered himself into the dimly lit sanctuary, where rows and rows of wine bottles awaited him. Nick Martinelle, the store manager, could hardly believe his eyes the next day. "It was like something out of 'Ocean's Eleven.' We just couldn't believe it," he exclaimed.

800 bottles worth more than half a million dollars

In total, the thief stole 800 bottles of wine with a total value of $600,000. The haul included an eclectic array of vintages, all steeped in history, character and a collector's delight. The ransacked wine cellar was left devastated; a silent testimony to the carefully planned operation that had taken place. The collection reads like a sommelier's dream. Among the stolen treasures stands out a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve Champagne - a majestic Nebuchadnezzar, an unusually large 15-litre format, suitable for grand celebrations or enjoyment of great magnitude.

Hard work and a shadowy accomplice

For Nazmul Haque Helal, owner of Lincoln Fine Wines, the theft was a heartbreaking blow. "It's very hard for me to digest. All my hard work was stolen within a few hours," he laments. There seems to be a shadowy accomplice who helped the thief heave the numerous bottles into the truck with a bed parked nearby. Detective Joel Twycross of the Los Angeles Police Department says, "It's obvious that this was planned long ago and a lot of effort was put into figuring out how to gain access."


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Falstaff Editorial Team