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Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

Topic: wine theft

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July 14, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Thieves behind elaborate Sodo wine heist plead guilty

Two men accused of stealing more than $600,000 worth of wine from a Sodo wine storage business during an elaborate Thanksgiving Day heist pleaded guilty this afternoon in King County Superior Court. Samuel Harris, 35, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree arson, second-degree burglary and 10 counts of first-degree theft.  Co-defendant Luke Thesing, 36, pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and nine counts…


Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: arson, Burglary, King County Superior Court

December 11, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Police recover wine from Thanksgiving Day heist

Update at 1:51 p.m.:| Seattle police say the 2,500 bottles of stolen wine were recovered at a Sodo storage and manufacturing facility, but they aren’t prepared to release the name.

In the meantime, police are undertaking “the difficult task” of processing the wine. “Detectives need to photograph and document each bottle, enter it into evidence, and then we need to find the owner of each bottle,” Investigations Lt.Greg Schmidt said.

Police say some of the victims may not yet even know their wine was stolen since Esquin Wine & Storage staff and detectives are still attempting to reach the hundreds of people who rented specially temperature controlled storage units in the store.

Original post:| Seattle police announced this morning that they have recovered a ‘substantial’ amount of wine stolen during an elaborate Thanksgiving Day heist from a Sodo wine storage business.

The wine was recovered Tuesday after police served a search warrant at a building less than a mile away from Esquin Wine & Spirits, according to police. Police say it appears the wine had been kept in a “temperature controlled environment.” There was some concern that the wine, if not properly stored, could be damaged during the recent spate of subfreezing weather.

Chuck LeFever, owner of Esquin, has issued the following statement:

Words can’t express how thrilled we are that the wine stolen from our facility on Thanksgiving Day has been safely recovered. While we are still doing an inventory to make sure it’s all there, the volume recovered makes us eager with anticipation and we can’t wait to share the good news with our customers.

Thieves made off with more than 200 cases of wine, valued at $648,000, from Esquin Wine & Spirits on Nov. 28. Dan Miller, a spokesman for Esquin, said last week the company is offering $20,000 for information that leads to the “safe recovery of the wine.”

Charged with attempted first-degree arson, second-degree burglary and second-degree theft in connection with the thefts are Luke Thesing, 35, and Samuel Harris, 34. Thesing works as a plumber for Harris’ plumbing company, charging papers say.

The men are each being held in the King County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.


Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Burglary, Seattle Police Department, wine theft

December 6, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Cold weather could threaten Seattle wine thieves’ haul

Management at Sodo’s Esquin Wine & Spirits have a message for the people who made off with more than $600,000 worth of high-end wine last week: There’s a good reason wine lovers pay for temperature-controlled storage lockers.

“What the thieves may not know,” Esquin spokesman Dan Miller said in a statement today, “is that with these cold temperatures we’re seeing in the region, if they haven’t properly stored the wine they stole, it could quickly become worthless, particularly if the wine freezes, making their whole criminal operation all for” naught.

Esquin hopes to get the wine back, hopefully in the same condition it was in when it was stolen.

Wine experts say wine should be stored in the dark, at around 55 degrees. Just as high temperatures are harmful to wine, subfreezing temperatures — like the ones the Seattle area has seen all week — are also damaging.

While the effect of temperature on wine depends on a number of factors, Wine Enthusiast magazine’s Managing Editor Joe Czerwinski said in an email that, typically, “Wine freezes around 23 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the alcohol content. Once frozen the wine will expand and often push the cork out therefore breaking the seal and spoiling the wine.”

Police have arrested one suspect and are seeking a second. The stolen wine — more than 200 cases valued at $648,000 — remains missing, police said today.


Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: reward, wine theft