‘Meticulously Planned’: Former Beauty Queen and Husband Sentenced for Stealing $1.7 Million Worth of Alcohol From Michelin-Starred Restaurant
A Spanish court has jailed a couple for heisting over $1.7 million worth of wine from the Michelin-starred Atrio restaurant and hotel in Cáceres, Spain.
Priscila Lara Guevera, a former Mexican beauty pageant contestant, and her husband Constantín Dumitru were sentenced to four years and four and a half years respectively for an elaborate robbery that included fake passports, stolen key cards and a 14-course tasting menu.
The case first made headlines in October 2021 when the owner of the Atrio restaurant issued a public plea for the safe return of 45 stolen bottles. One bottle alone, a 217-year-old Château D’Yquem, had been valued at over $360,000.
Following a nine-month-long international police operation, Guevara and Dumitru were eventually arrested at the Montenegro-Croatian border. The bottles, however, have yet to be found.
In court, the jury was told details of the “meticulously planned” heist that had unfolded nearly a year prior.
After checking into the hotel using a fake Swiss passport, Guevara and Dumitru were treated to dinner at the Atrio’s Michelin three-star restaurant and given a tour of their wine cellar.
The pair returned to their room until 2 am, when Guevara called reception and requested that the sole employee working the restaurant make her a salad, according to the court.
Dumitru attempted to sneak into the wine cellar using a stolen electronic key card as the employee made the salad, but realized he had taken the wrong one. Guevara once again distracted the receptionist, ordering a dessert, while Dumitru retraced his steps.
“The accused returned to the reception and from a box he took master key number 27, which he used to open the wine cellar from where he took 45 bottles of wine,” said the court.
Though the pair have now been convicted, the whereabouts of the vintage wines at the center of the heist are still a mystery. A senior wine source at Christie’s auction house speculated that the wines would be incredibly difficult to resell given their rarity and the high-profile nature of the robbery.
Interestingly, the conviction has cemented Spanish restaurant wine robberies as something of an unexpected trend.
In an inexplicably similar case from last November, burglars took off with over $192,000 worth of fine wine from the two-Michelin-starred Coque de Madrid.
Amidst Growing Concerns Over Bats and Carbon Emissions, Tequila Production Is Pressured to Go Green
Trends, Treason and Terroir: The Complicated Politics of Non-Mexican Tequila
The Tequila Metaverse Is Coming Whether You Like It or Not (We Don’t)
This post may contain affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site. This helps support Tequila Raiders at no additional cost to you.