Thieves smash through gate, steal truck loaded with liquor

Police said up to 600 cases of wine and whiskey, worth as much as $30,000, were stolen by suspects who crashed through a gate driving at a high rate of speed.
Police said up to 600 cases of wine and whiskey, worth as much as $30,000, were stolen by suspects who crashed through a gate driving at a high rate of speed.

(WMC-TV) - Police said up to 600 cases of wine and whiskey, worth as much as $30,000, were stolen by suspects who crashed through a gate driving at a high rate of speed.

The electronically-controlled gate outside Athens Distributing was no more than scrap metal after a heist early Friday morning.

"They were finished loading that truck, going to the next truck, and then boom!" said Athens Distributing executive Phillip Aviotti.

Aviotti said the stolen box truck was loaded with wine and whiskey.  Police estimate up to $30,000 worth in some 600 cases was stolen.

"We had a warehouse full of employees working, you know, and a guard on the lot," said Aviotti.  "The truck that did all of this damage was later found empty."

The truck would have been bound for restaurants or liquor stores.  Investigators suspect the thieves who hijacked the loaded truck are selling the booze on the black market.

"We've been in business since '67, in this location since '85, no one's ever done this," said Aviotti.

Memphis police recovered a fraction of the stolen liquor at a house on Rosewood Avenue.  So far, no charges have been filed.

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