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French police thwart €600,000 champagne heist

Thieves in France stole two truckloads of champagne before police recovered the liquid loot – worth €600,000 (£525,000) – in a high-speed chase.

The drama began on Saturday near Reims, in the heart of the Champagne region, where the lorries were reported stolen.

Officers were able to locate the vehicles, which were equipped with tracking devices, and gave chase on the A4 motorway between Reims and Paris.

The champagne was eventually retrieved but the thieves managed to escape.

The lorries were stolen from a Reims-based company between Friday evening and Saturday morning, French media say.

According to Le Parisien newspaper the consignments consisted of bottles of Moët & Chandon, one of the most renowned brands of champagne. Each load was valued at €300,000.

The lorries were tracked on the A4 near Pontault-Combault, about 20km (12 miles) from central Paris, early on Saturday.

Two police cars were involved in the chase. The thieves tried to shake them off by swerving abruptly.

When the officers forced one of the lorries to slow down, the driver jumped off before being picked up by a saloon car that was following the convoy. The car sped away.

The second lorry took the next exit and was later found without the driver. An investigation is under way.

The champagne bottles were all retrieved intact and unharmed, if a little shaken.


Source: BBC

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