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article imageThieves steal 30 tonnes of grapes in France

By Lynn Curwin     Sep 30, 2010 in Crime
Thieves equipped with a grape-harvesting machine and a lorry got away with tonnes of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from a remote vineyard in France.
The grapes had been growing on a two hectare area in Villeneuve-lès-Béziers, one of France’s celebrated wine regions.
"The thieves took advantage of a night when the moon was full to commit their crime," The Guardian quoted Roland Cavaillé, who said he had lost a harvest worth €15,000 (£13,000), as saying.
"They had their own harvesting machine, which means there would not have needed to be many of them. Two people would have been enough."
He said the thieves could have done the work without being noticed because the vineyard was in an isolated spot bordering a river, and it is not the first time grapes have been stolen in the area.
A man who lives near the vineyard said he heard a harvesting machine at 5am on Monday, but police reported that the only clues they have are track marks left by the machines.
“Anyone who has a grape harvesting machine is in the business,” Cavaillé added. “It's the work of professionals."
The harvest was not insured against theft.
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