$1.1 million in vodka stolen

ShotMIAMI — If you know who swiped more than 4,500 bottles of vodka from a Miami area customs warehouse, it could be worth $5,000 to you. And if you use that reward to buy the stuff at some South Beach nightclubs, you could buy about four bottles of it.

The pricey drink is Spirit of the Tsars Golden Vodka, and last month thieves grabbed 752 cases of it, busting a case-sized hole through a concrete wall to grab their pricey loot.

Bottles of the amber liquid, distilled in and imported from Ukraine, retail for $249 in liquor stores but can fetch $1,200 a bottle at trendy nightclubs. The value of the entire theft was put at $1.1 million.

The company says in a statement the sipping vodka has become “the newest Holy Grail for collectors and connoisseurs.”

“We call it golden vodka for a reason. It’s an amber color, a golden color. It’s aged in cognac barrels for three years,” Mark Owens, president of Spirits of the Tsars Vodka, told CNN affiliate WSVN.

The bottles themselves even have value. They are made in France and a portion of the label is a 24-carat gold veneer.

Owens said the thieves definitely knew what they were after when they hit the warehouse on June 22. They busted through a concrete wall right where the vodka was being stored. And they ignored other high-value items in the warehouse, including art, precious metals and cars, the company said in a statement.

“I couldn’t believe it at first, that they actually broke through a concrete wall. They obviously crawled through that hole and handed the vodka out to their team,” he said.

Video surveillance showed the thieves arriving in a glass-roofed Mercedes sedan about 11 p.m. Later, a panel van and a large box truck showed up, carting off the last of the vodka about 4:30 a.m., WSVN reported.

For more on this CNN story, click here.

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