Crooks steal millions of dollars in vodka
NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (WSVN) -- Surveillance cameras captured several men breaking into a warehouse through a concrete wall and stealing millions of dollars worth of pricey vodka.
President of Spirits of the Tsars Vodka Mark Owens said, "I couldn't believe it at first, that they actually broke through a concrete wall. They obviously crawled through that hole and handed the vodka out to their team."
Security video from June 22, showed a group of five men arriving at the warehouse at around 11 p.m. in a white Mercedes Benz sedan with a dark glass roof.
About 40 minutes later, a white van pulled up to the side of the building. Just after 3 a.m., a white unmarked truck arrived. The truck was seen leaving nearly an hour and a half later.
According to Owens, the men specifically targeted the pricey vodka, and they knew what they were doing. "They didn't set off any of the alarms, so they stayed right in the confines of the small area." He added, "They knew the value of the vodka."
Owens said the men got away with 752 cases of liquor, each containing 6 bottles of Spirits of the Tsars Golden Vodka. The Ukrainian sipping vodka retails at $249 per bottle at liquor stores. Some South Beach nightclubs sell it for up to $1,200. "We call it golden vodka for a reason. It's an amber color, a golden color. It's aged in cognac barrels for three years," said Owens.
Even the packaging is extravagant. "This whole area of the bottle is pure 24 karat gold," said Owens.
Only 5,000 bottles are produced for the U.S. each year, Owens said. Now, more than 15 percent of his supply is gone and cannot be replaced until next year, but he's looking at the bright side. "Obviously, the value of our product is being recognized by a multitude of demographics," said Owens.
If you have any information on this burglary,, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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