A specialist wine importer was left devastated after thieves stole £20,000 of alcohol from a Leeds warehouse.
A gang broke into the premises of restaurant and hotel supplier Italy Abroad in Morley before escaping with 300 cases in an overnight raid.
Andrea D’Ercole, who works for the company, told the YEP: “I’m devastated.
“We’re only a small business and it has had a huge impact.
“But we won’t give up – we have to carry on going.”
The incident happened at the warehouse on Topcliffe Lane overnight on Friday, October 19, but police are only now appealing for information.
A gang of four men are thought to have cut the lock off a barrier to gain access to a yard containing a number of business premises before breaking a lock off a metallic gate to get into the warehouse.
The cases – each containing six to 12 bottles – were loaded onto the back of a Citroen panel van bearing false registration plates, which then drove off.
The imported brands the gang made off with included Le Sette Camicie, Jasci E Machesani, Dal Cero, Vigneti and Nuraghe, as well as a several distinctive five-litre magnums of Preziosterra Selverello.
Mr D’Ercole said the company was hit by a similar raid in March, but had managed to replace the stolen goods on that occasion through and insurance pay-out.
This time the business was not insured, but he added: “Being Christmas, this is the worst time it could have happened, but our customers have been very supportive and we will fulfil our orders.”
Anyone offered the wine or anyone with information and the theft should contact PC Jonathan Waring at Holbeck CID via 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously and in confidence, on 0800 555 111.