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Theft of $26,000 Scotch not your average heist

A suspect is captured on a surveillance video in a Toronto liquor store where police say he walked out with a $26,000 bottle of 50-year-old Glenfiddich scotch.

Handout/Toronto Police Service

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario can't explain how a $26,000 bottle of Scotch whisky was shoplifted from a "locked" glass display case in a Toronto store.

Toronto Police are investigating the theft of the 50-year-old Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch from the vintage section at the Queens Quay and Yonge Street store on Sunday. The bottle is extremely rare, with only 15 other bottles in Ontario and 50 bottles worldwide.

According to Detective Constable Michael Tattersall, a clean shaven man 35 to 45 years old, nattily dressed in a Burberry shirt and wearing black framed glasses, was caught on tape "tampering with the lock" of the case before taking the 700 ml bottle to another aisle and slipping it into a brown trench coat he had over his shoulder.

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He then picked up a bottle of wine, which he brought to the cash and paid for, but left the store without paying for the pricey vintage bottle concealed in his jacket. The display case is currently empty and the LCBO is reviewing its security procedures to see if they need improvement, LCBO spokeswoman Heather MacGregor said.

"This is extremely different from your average shoplifting," she said. "This was not some 22-year-old walking out a bottle of regular Scotch."

She said the store's security includes cameras, trained staff and private security companies who work in the store.

"In both cases we take theft seriously and wherever possible we try to prevent it," she said.

Det. Constable Tattersall said thefts from LCBOs are common, although he has never before heard of one this big.

The suspect is described as a middle-aged white male, 5'10" and was clean shaven with black framed glasses.

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About the Author
Washington correspondent

Adrian Morrow covers U.S. politics from Washington, D.C. Previously he was The Globe's Ontario politics reporter. He's covered news, crime and sports for The Globe since 2010. He won the National Newspaper Award for politics reporting in 2016. More


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