Massive Champagne Heist Ends in Police Chase

The champagne involved was valued at over $650,000

Moët & Chandon cork
The would-be thieves made off with a lot of Moët & Chandon champagne.
Jim Dyson/Getty Images

Don’t say wine thieves lack ambition. This week in France, a group of thieves attempted a high-stakes heist of over half a million dollars’ worth of champagne — specifically, of two trucks that were each carrying €300,000 (or $327,000) worth of Moët & Chandon.

As the BBC reports, the trucks were reported stolen near Reims, and law enforcement began their pursuit on the highway leading to Paris. Apparently, the trucks attempted some evasive action to shake the police vehicles tailing them, which didn’t go as planned; eventually, one of the drivers was picked up by another vehicle that was following the stolen trucks, while the driver of the other truck abandoned the truck and vanished.

Police are currently investigating the heist to determine who was behind it and where they might be. All of the champagne, however, has been safely recovered.

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Given the pedigree of the champagne involved and the high-speed pursuit that followed the initial theft, this is one of the most high-stakes booze heists in recent memory. It’s far from the only one, however. In 2016, Texas Monthly reported on a theft of 719 (!) cases of Dos Equis, while a 2021 Netflix documentary revisited the theft of a number of bottles of Pappy Van Winkle, an incident dubbed “Pappygate.”

As for how this heist will be remembered, it may be too soon to tell. That said, keep one thing in mind: it’s only a champagne heist if it involves wine from the Champagne region. Otherwise, it’s just a sparking wine heist.


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