Three thieves with expensive taste in wine are still at large, but their most expensive take is safely back in a cooler in a Hopkinton, Mass., wine store today, according to the MetroWest Daily News.
perps had made off with four bottles of wine last week, among them a
1945 Chateau Mouton Rothschild -- a bottle worth an estimated $20,000
after esteemed wine critic Robert Parker scored the vintage a perfect 100, while lamenting that he couldn't go any higher.
Mouton Rothschild made it back into the hands of police after an
anonymous tipster recognized one of the thieves in a security video,
though no arrests have yet been made.
So who were these
dastardly wine purloiners? Impoverished oenophiles desperate for an
unaffordable sip of some of France's best red? Hired hands doing the
dirty work for an unscrupulous black-market wine dealer? Opportunistic
kids who figured a cooler labeled "Rare Wines" probably had some
serious cash potential sitting inside? It's hard to say, although
descriptions and video images paint them as unassuming twentysomethings
with a simple and effective scheme: one woman distracted the counter
clerk, while two men raided the cooler, stuffed bottles under their
shirts, and ran.
This strategy may have gotten the job done (you
know, apart from the three perpetrators showing up all over the video
footage), but aesthetically, such a tactic does not satisfy our need to
see high-culture heists executed with Thomas Crown-level
sophistication. No night-vision goggles, no security-camera hacking, no
laser motion detectors -- the Hopkinton scam has about as much intrigue
as the inelegant 2004 Munch paintings theft,
wherein two guys marched into a Norwegian museum in broad daylight,
brandished weapons, and literally tore paintings off the wall.
doubt the Mouton Rothschild will eventually find a happy,
overprivileged owner/drinker. But we must all be concerned that thefts
of art and wine might in the future be carried out using methods best
suited to boosting a Slim Jim or a pack of smokes.