Champagne Thieves Flee After Pursuit

Thieves who stole a truckload of Moët & Chandon champagne managed to escape after a spectacular chase, but the police secured their loot, valued at approximately $650,000.

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Police in action (Photo: Van Hope /
Police in action (Photo: Van Hope /

After a cinematic pursuit, the French police were able to secure a truckload of stolen champagne from Moët & Chandon. The container had been stolen on the night of November 11. However, the thieves apparently were not aware that the load also contained a tracking device, which the police used to locate the thieves' vehicle convoy around 9 a.m. on the Francilienne expressway (N104), near the town of Pontault-Combault, about 20 kilometers from Paris.

On the dual carriageway, a chase ensued between two trucks and three police vehicles. During the pursuit, one of the thieves allowed his truck to roll driverless, jumping from his vehicle onto a BMW driven by an accomplice. While one patrol car stayed behind to secure the truck and traffic on the road, the remaining two continued the pursuit but were outmaneuvered by a swift move of the thieves. At the last moment, the thieves took an exit to an industrial area, which the police could not immediately follow. Shortly afterward, the truck was found abandoned in the industrial area, with the load intact, but there was no trace of the thieves.

Not an isolated incident

High-value wine thefts have become increasingly common.  In June, wines worth about $730,000 were stolen from a wine dealer in California. In early 2023, wines from the Italian Amarone producer Masi worth about $324,000 were stolen from the depot of a logistics company. In 2021, wine worth about $550,000 was stolen from the Hotel Kronenschlösschen. MS


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