£11.5k of wine stolen from London resto
Con men pretending to work for wealthy Arab clients have stolen £11,500 of Champagne and fine wine from Michelin-starred Fitzrovia restaurant Pied à Terre.
As reported by the Evening Standard, the scam took place over two days last month, with the men walking away with magnums of Cristal and a bottle of Château Petrus 1990.
The Standard reports that a man phoned the restaurant last month asking to be sold magnums of Cristal for “rich Arab clients” who were “desperate” to get hold of it.
After several failed attempts to pay by credit card, the payment eventually went through. The same man called back half an hour later asking for more wine.
The restaurant sold him three magnums of Cristal 2002 at £1,000 each, a bottle of Cristal 1990 at £500, and a bottle of 1990 Petrus for £8,000. The money was paid using three cards, and a taxi driver sent to pick up the wine.
The next day, restaurant owner David Moore was informed by his bank that the credit cards were suspected to be fraudulent and the money had been withheld pending further investigation.
Moore then contacted the police, but despite extensive inquiries, the fraudsters have not been caught and the case has been closed until further evidence comes to light. During the investigation, police discovered that the credit cards used had been stolen in North America.
Moore told the Standard that top London restaurants are increasingly being targeted by con men using an array of techniques.
“This was a very sophisticated crime, targeting late at night when systems might not be as secure,” he said.
In addition to Pied à Terre, Moore also owns L’Autre Pied in Marylebone.