MENLO PARK (CBS SF) — The South Bay’s oldest wine seller is reeling after thieves broke in and made off $55,000 worth its priciest vintages.
Burglars smashed the side door of Beltramo’s Wines and Spirits on El Camino Real Thursday night, according to police, and stole bottles with price tags as high as $1,000.
The family-owned store was planning to close for good on Saturday after 134 years in business. To move inventory, they had just taken the pricey bottles out of lockup and put them on display. The thieves seized the opportunity and grabbed them.
One French Bordeaux taken in the heist can fetch as much as $5000 a bottle, according to store manager Diana Beltramo Hewitt. She is the founder’s great-grandaughter. She says she’s certain it was a targeted attack.
“They targeted very expensive first growth Bordeaux and some really collectible California Cabernets,” says Beltramo-Hewitt. “It was a sophisticated hit, they knew what they were taking. These items have resale value on the open market — I don’t know where they’ll end up, but its unfortunate.”
Police are still investigating the incident.
The loss adds a sad note to what was already a difficult farewell for the Beltramo family, after more than a century in business.
“It’s been a great 134-year-run, we’re so proud of what we’ve built here… The whole (closing) process has been very bittersweet. A lot of emotion and letting go.”