It may not be the heist of the century, but the fact is that the the country calls him “one of the biggest heists in its history Spain“ is It is a case that has attracted attention, in the country and abroad. Among the thieves there is even a former Miss Mexico.
This cop goes from robbery, late 2021, to a luxury hotel and his millionaire wine cellar, Atrio from Caseres, from a couple who stayed there; the arrest of the suspects, next summer, in Croatia, which Fugas had already mentioned; until this week and when the sentence was handed down in the District Court of Cáceres.
That’s four years in prison (for her, a few more months for him) for stealing 45 bottles of top wines, worth an initial release of €1.6 million, but the insurer’s estimate would almost halve, with a claim for compensation, which approximately 754 thousand euros must be paid by the defendant. Only one of the wines, an 1806 Chateau d’Yquem, was marked €350,000 on the menu.
In addition to the big case, the theft also had its cinematic aspect: the couple consisting of Constantín Dumitru, Romanian-Dutch, 49, and Priscila Guevara, former Miss Earth State of Mexico, 28, stayed at the hotel. then went down to dinner at the famous restaurant headed by chef Toño Perez, awarded with two Michelin stars. at dawn he did the operation of relieving the Atrium of 45 bottles worth of gold. They disappeared into the night. They would be arrested months later, tried and sentenced now. But among established facts and doubts, one detail was not clarified: where did the wine end up?
a detached robbery
A few months earlier, the couple had already passed through the hotel, proving that they were preparing the robbery. On October 27, 2021, the woman, disguised and with a fake Swiss passport, made the reservation. He came in with only a light backpack (light is not in vain, the newspaper reports alphabet; by chance, an employee grabbed the backpack and it really weighed next to nothing).
Constantín Dumitru later appeared, staying for dinner (with pomp and circumstance: a 14-course tasting menu with two Michelin stars). After dinner, the couple were given a tour of the cellar (‘regular’ visit). The man would end up staying at the hotel, but without doing so ticket check. Early in the morning, around 2 am, Priscilla Guevara he starts calling the front desk with food orders, which at first go unanswered, with the receptionist apologizing for being alone (and finding his appetite odd, since the couple’s dinner had those 14 courses…) . At his insistence, he left the reception and went to prepare her a salad.
The unfolding of what followed that night was witnessed by hotel staff and various parties caught on video.
During the receptionist’s absence, Dumitru takes a magnetic card from the reception. I tried to get into the reception but that didn’t work. However, the waiter returned to the counter after delivering the salad. Dumitro calls Priscilla to explain the setback. Priscilla goes back to ordering food: this time she wanted something for dessert. The receptionist agrees to bring him some fruit. Dumitru takes advantage of the new absence to draw another card and, this time, bingo!, it was a master key. He enters the cellar (masked) and takes the 45 bottles of wine from the cellars. You’ll hide them in large backpacks and bags — cameras record your attempts to get in and out with heavier weight.
Around 5 am, the couple leaves the hotel, he with the backpack and the two bags. They get into a Mercedes, disappear into the night.
A nine-month investigation by Spanish authorities, with international support, followed until the pair were arrested in the Albanian-Croatian border area.
Mysteries, doubts and wine
But how was it possible to enter the cellar, the gem of the hotel-restaurantwhich advertises not 40 or 45, but 40,000 bottles, used in many images commercial and possibly high security? Second References THE the countrywhich, thanks to the reporter Patricia ortega Dolzpublished a creative summary of issues raised at trial, records show that the first card used was for room 106, where, coincidentally, they were staying that night friends of the business owners, the chef Perez and sommelier Joseph Pole. Why would the card be at the front desk if the customers were in the room?
The other card, used to access the cellars, was the equivalent of the master key. And here are two of the great mysteries, why only these cards were removed and how they found the master key so easily, since several hotel employees say that it is necessary to know how to recognize this card in order to be able to correctly identify it in a drawer which contains dozens of cards all of the same. And that the master key deliberately does not have any special mark to the naked eye – and can only be recognized by trained professionals at the reception.
In addition, among the facts testified by the employees, which are also confusing, is precisely what concerns the use of the master key: a receptionist would use this card at the time when the thief was supposed to already have it.
Interestingly, Portugal also appears in the story: the former Miss, who called the reception desk asking for food to distract the receptionist, received a call in Dumitru on your mobile (between first and second attempt to swipe cards at reception). The call was identified as coming from a number registered to one Daniel Florín Stanley. Now this Daniel already had history. And in Portugal: “He was arrested for a similar offense in Portugal in 2008,” said an agent citing the country. As you can see, Daniel and Dumitru are the same person, as secured by the fingerprints. No further details of the Portugal case have been released.
In the list of doubts arising during the investigation and trial, summarized by the country, there is also a question of DNA: a trace of a third stranger was found throughout the room. The question hangs over the case: did they act alone? It is not known. Another issue concerns the backpack and bags: the woman was seen with only a small backpack, the man entered without luggage, but in the end they ended up taking the bottles in three large and heavy backpacks.
The correct reference price of wines was also discussed. If the owners initially reported a loss of 1.6 million euros (at the sale price), a winemaker thought it would be around 1.2 million and the insurer closed the claim for compensation at 753,454 euros.
Final happy? yes and maybe no
For homeowners, it sums it up El Pais, the theft became a streak of good fortune: worldwide publicity (the case was followed by full-coverage media such as CNN), a little later a third Michelin star for the restaurant, purchase of another “monumental building” (the newspaper’s terms) in the extension of the property, creation of a cultural institution.
In terms of the couple’s conviction and future developments, the case may have new chapters, as an appeal to the Supreme Court of Extremadura is still possible.
And where does the wine stop? A good question, which leaves an extension of mystery in the mouth. So much so that the accused Dumitru underlined this detail in court: “If I am the thief, why am I asking myself: ‘Where are the bottles of wine’?”