The Great Madrid Grape Escape

Thieves made off with 132 bottles of wine worth EUR 200,000 from one of Spain’s best collections at a two-starred Michelin restaurant in Madrid.

The heist was carried out at Restaurante Coque of chef Mario Sandoval in the Chamberi neighbourhood. The restaurant was recognised at last year´s award ceremony as one of the best in the capital.

The thieves are believed to have entered the premises from an adjoining pharmacy that has been closed for a month.

Mario Sandoval owner of the restaurant Coque, poses in undated photo. Thieves broke in and stole 132 bottles of wine worth at least EUR 200,000 from the restaurant in Madrid, Spain, on Monday, Oct. 31, 2022. (@msandovalcoque/Newsflash)

National Police believe the heist was ordered by higher powers, as the thieves targeted the most expensive premium wines – collectively valued at GBP 173,000.

The restaurant’s wine cellar is known to hold some 25,000 bottles with a huge collective value.

Coque’s sommelier and Mario’s brother Rafael Sandoval explained how the crooks first tried to bore a hole through the wall separating the pharmacy and restaurant.

But they eventually gained entry by entering the restaurant’s patio through the pharmacy’s rear window.

Picture shows the wine cellar of the restaurant Coque, in Madrid, Spain, undated. Thieves broke in and stole 132 bottles of wine worth at least EUR 200,000 from the restaurant on Monday, Oct. 31, 2022. (@coquemadrid/Newsflash)

They took advantage of the fact that the restaurant was closed on Sunday and Monday to commit the heist in the early hours of 31st October.

Mario, Rafael and their brother Juan Diego – who own the restaurant – filed a complaint with police on Tuesday,1st November.

Mario told local media: “We are very concerned and hurt by what happened, not because of the money issue but because some of the stolen bottles belonged to my grandfather Coque from very old vintages like 1925 or 1936.

“There were bottles that have passed from generation to generation and not even the wineries themselves have them. We are very bitter about letting go of these bottles that we hold so dear.”

Earlier this year a couple were cought after pulling off a similar daring wine robbery at a Michelin starred restaurant which ended in Croatia after a Europe-wide hunt tracked them down in Croatia.




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