Former Beauty Queen and Partner Tried to Steal $1.7 Million Worth of Wine from a Michelin-Star Restaurant
A couple who stole 45 bottles of vintage wine have been caught and sentenced.
A former Mexican beauty queen pageant star and her boyfriend have been sentenced for reportedly stealing over $1.7 million in vintage wine. Priscila Guevara, 28, and Constantín Dumitru, 49, carried out a heist that entailed swiping high-priced wine out of Restaurante Atrio in Caceres, Spain. The elaborate scheme took place back on October 27, 2021, and the couple were arrested months later on the border of Montenegro and Croatia in July 2022, police said, CNN reports. Read on to learn how the couple initially got away with the crime.
A Well-Planned Out Heist
The couple had been preparing for the well thought out crime for months. According to reports, the duo posed as diners and visited the restaurant at least three times prior to the robbery. The police at the time said the heist was planned in "minute detail," according to CNN. El País reports, "they were in Cáceres "planning the event" at least on June 1 and 13 and August 12."
The Execution of the Plan
The night of the robbery, the couple stayed at the luxury hotel attached to the restaurant and Guevara checked in using a fake Swiss passport, according to CNN. Dumitru later joined her at the hotel, but did not check in and remained an unregistered guest. The two then indulged in a 14-course dinner at the restaurant, followed by a guided tour of the wine cellar. CNN states, "At about 2 a.m. the woman called the front desk, requesting a salad from room service, and later a dessert. The clerk, who said he was alone at the hotel, finally agreed to the orders, leaving the front desk unmanned. It was during this time that the woman's boyfriend stole an electronic key from the front desk to open the wine cellar." The couple reportedly wrapped the wine bottles in towels to prevent them from breaking, placed them in bags and left at about 5 a.m.
The Couple Must Serve Jail Time Plus Pay Damages
While the couple initially got away with the crime, they have been charged and sentenced. Guevara was sentenced to four years in prison and Dumitru was given four-and-a-half years for armed robbery. The pair have also been ordered to pay €753,000 in damages. Both pleaded not guilty and can appeal their sentence. El País reports, "The sentence, handed down by the court of the Cáceres Court presided over by magistrate Joaquín González Casso, is not final and an appeal can be made against it before the Civil and Criminal Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of Extremadura. The trial had been seen for sentencing last Wednesday, after three days of hearings, in which 16 witnesses and four experts who provided evidence, such as the DNA of the biological remains found in the bathroom of the room where they stayed, have testified. and that they coincided with the defendants; the recordings of the security cameras or the control of the telephones that place them in the hotel the night of the events."
The Wine Has Not Been Recovered
The couple took 45 bottles of wine and according to CNN, it has not been found. "None of the wine has been recovered, though the restaurant has been compensated with €753,000 from its insurance company." One bottle alone was worth around $300,000K. Insider reports. José Polo, one of the owners of Atrio at the time of the robbery said, among the bottles stolen included a 1806 Chateau d'Yquem and at least six other 19th-century bottles that were from the exclusive Romanée-Conti winemaker in France's Burgundy region. He also stated the thieves could have been working for a private collector because the bottles they stole were irreplaceable. "Those bottles are very numbered and controlled. That 1806 Yquen is unique; everyone knows it's ours", he said per Associated Press adding that experts in the industry would know if the wine they stole was for sale.
The Times reports that Dumitru is denying the charges and his attorney argued his client could not carry so much wine out of the building at once. "Forty-five bottles and four towels do not fit in two sports bags and could not be carried so easily by this man," his lawyer said. Atrio was a two star Michelin restaurant, but since the incident occurred, it's now rated three stars, a receptionist at the adjacent Atrio small luxury hotel told CNN. She told the outlet that the restaurant's owners weren't commenting on the court's sentence.