Thief Steals $4,000 Bottle of Cognac in 'Well-Choreographed' Hit on Restaurant Bar

The brazen act was clearly captured by surveillance cameras and, at that price tag, constitutes a felony.

Cognac is poured into a glass on a bar counter
Photo: Getty Images

It's an old-school rule for an open bar: Don't waste your time on the cheap stuff — ask the bartender for the best drinks they have. Apparently, that rule holds true when a bar is literally open because the bartender is nowhere in sight. And one thief put that to the test by grabbing the most expensive drink they could, a $4,000 bottle of Cognac.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office is looking for a woman who was caught on surveillance cameras at the Mount Hamilton Grandview Restaurant in San Jose, California, walking behind an empty bar and grabbing a bottle of what the steakhouse says was a bottle of 100-year-old Louis XIII cognac valued at over $4,000. Due to the bottle's price tag, officials are classifying the crime as felony grand theft.

The brazen act was captured in plain view by a security camera — which the sheriff's office released — and shows what appears to potentially be multiple accomplices as the suspect is seen walking around and out of the premises with other guests. Bay Area station KTVU reports that the woman was part of a party of ten who dined at the restaurant on Tuesday night — and paid the $1,600 bill in cash — before walking out with the bottle.

"This was very well-choreographed. This was like a hit," the restaurant manager was quoted as saying.

Deputy Russell Davis, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office, told the Los Angeles Times that the theft was pulled off so stealthily that, at first, the restaurant didn't even notice the bottle was gone, finally reporting the crime to authorities days later on Friday. "They realized that it was missing and had to backtrack and look at the video footage to see someone stole the bottle of alcohol from behind the bar," he said.

Authorities are now asking for the public's assistance in identifying the suspect or any of the individuals seen with them. And with distinct evidence, the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office hopes it won't take long. "It's such a clear video," Davis continued. "Someone out there knows who they are."

At the very least, remain vigilant if someone offers you a $300 glass of cognac.

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