Police: Thieves Took Off With $1.6M of Distributor's Booze

Warrant says thousands of cases of liquor were crammed into tractor trailers in Florida on July 8
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2023 12:32 PM CDT
Police: Thieves Took Off With $1.6M of Distributor's Booze
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/1933bkk)

Republic National Distributing Company bills itself as "one of the nation's leading wholesale beverage alcohol distributors," a description that may have caught the eye of a band of burglars in Florida. CNN reports that an investigation is now in progress after thieves crammed upward of $1.6 million worth of alcohol from the distribution company—which carries Jose Cuervo and Malibu, among other brands—into tractor trailers over the summer and took off with it.

A search warrant unsealed earlier this month for an Apple iPhone says the theft took place at the RNDC facility in the Sunshine State's Hillsborough County, south of Tampa, on July 8, sometime between 4:10am and 9:45am. That's when, per the warrant, the "unknown suspects" loaded up three of the big rigs with 4,277 cases of booze, as well as yanked out digital recording devices that RNDC used for surveillance purposes.

Footage from nearby businesses allowed Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies to identify the tractor trailers used in the spirits snatching, per the warrant, which adds that authorities think the iPhone in question "contains specific information, technical data, and evidence" tied to the burglary and grand theft. "We have confidence that law enforcement is handling this matter seriously and taking all necessary steps to find the perpetrators of this crime," an RNDC rep tells CNN. Both that news outlet and the Messenger haven't yet heard back from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office after reaching out for comment. (More theft stories.)

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