The technique was not sophisticated, but it was effective.
They requested information from the employees of the wine bar, they asked two or three questions and when the employee was confused for a moment or went to another part of the store to do another task, they put the bottle in their waist, under the shirt and pants.
And to run.
The terror of the wine bars in the Salamanca district, the money district of Madrid.
Authentic temples of luxury in the form of wines that accumulate thousands and thousands of euros on their walls.
The police have arrested this week a gang of Romanian citizens between the ages of 30 and 37 who managed to steal bottles worth 25,000 euros in just three blows.
These thefts are reminiscent of the 65 bottles stolen from the Atrio restaurant, in Extremadura, for which two defendants have just been sentenced to four years in prison.
It is also similar to what Mario Sandoval suffered six months ago in his Coque restaurant.
132 wines disappeared from his cellar overnight.
Sandoval's business is also located in the Salamanca neighborhood, as are the wine bars targeted by this recently arrested gang, but the detainees are not related to the latter, police sources stress.
The cases are similar in terms of the stolen object and the fact that the proceeds could not be recovered, but the way this gang operates has little to do with the other cases.
They acted when the store was open, they grabbed the bottles and ran away.
While the restaurant thieves devised a complex plan that included the theft of keys in the case of Atrio and the design and execution of a butrón in the Sandoval premises.
The first of the hits by this band of wine bars was recorded in June 2022, the second in November and the last of them this January.
Investigators from the Salamanca district police station quickly connected the three facts both by the way they acted, and by the images recorded on the security cameras of the shops.
The agents have arrested the three in Madrid, but none of them had a single one of the bottles in their possession.
As in many of these investigations, there is a suspicion that the three individuals, two of them with criminal records, acted for hire.
That a third party had indicated the wine that he wanted and the objective was clear.
The detainees are accused of stealing nine bottles, including one Petrus and several Ribera del Duero.
Of all the loot, the jewel is a broth valued at 6,700 euros.
The police were able to verify in the recordings that the detainees did not make an effort to hide their faces and that they used to stop by the store a few days before to observe its security measures, the exits and the position in which the wines were.
"They acted like normal buyers, they did not arouse suspicion, they were informed like any other buyer and they returned hours or days later to carry out the theft," explains a police source.
Sometimes they took advantage of the fact that the clerks took out the bottles to show them to them, while others managed to force the cabinets to remove them.
Finally, they were arrested last week and made available to the judicial authority as allegedly responsible for three events that occurred between June 2022 and January 2023 in different establishments in the district.
Banks are not the only object of desire for thieves, wine bars also house thousands of euros that fit in one leg.
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