More Than $600K Of Fine Wines Were Stolen From A California Shop

Last week, a culinary heist of epic proportions went down in Venice, California. The over half-a-million-dollar score? Hundreds of bottles of rare and vintage wine and liquor from Lincoln Fine Wines. 

According to CNN, a thief or thieves (police are uncertain how many people were involved at the moment) robbed the wine shop over a period of four hours on the night of June 30. Taking a page from "Mission: Impossible," the thief scaled the building and entered the wine shop's storage room through a hole cut into the ceiling. 

Once inside, the perpetrator(s) then swiveled multiple cameras to face the wall and even covered one camera lens with the store's "smile you're on camera" sign. With surveillance taken care of, the thief then went about pilfering over $600,000 worth of wine, mostly from the unmonitored wine cellar. In the one bit of footage that captured the perpetrator, police noted they were wearing a baseball cap with a red brim, dark hoodie, and white mask.

Around 4:00 a.m., the robber took wine from the main store shelves, finally setting off alarms and notifying the shop's owner, Nazmul Haque. By the time Haque had arrived, the thief and over 75% of the shop's inventory were gone.   

A devastating crime for a small business

In the aftermath, Haque has been attempting to record the many precious bottles that have been lost to send on to wine auction houses and markets in case the wines pop up there. Of the over 600 bottles of wine stolen, both a $4,500 bottle of Chateau Petrus 2016 and a $6,000 bottle of The Last Drop blended Scotch from 1971 can be counted among the missing. Lincoln Fine Wine's French inventory, valued at roughly $1,000 per bottle, was particularly targeted, with every bit of Burgundy and Bordeaux now gone. All told, Haque claims that he's lost 10 to 15 years of work in one night. 

Currently, Haque is offering a $10,000 reward for any information on who might have been involved in the theft. Though he hasn't named any suspects, Haque did tell the Santa Monica Daily Press that the robber seemed to have an intimate understanding of the shop's layout, suggesting familiarity with the store. 

On an uplifting note, the store has been receiving an outpouring of support from both its customers and fellow wine shops that have suffered from similar thefts. In an Instagram post, the business thanked its loyal patrons for continuing to shop there, saying, "We cannot put into words how grateful we feel to have such a supportive family here at Lincoln Fine Wines."