Florida Thieves Make Off With $1.6M In Liquor

Florida law enforcement has been conducting an ongoing investigation into a July burglary at a distributing company south of Tampa in which the burglars used three tractor-trailers to make off with over $1.6 million in booze, CNN reported.

According to a search warrant unsealed on October 5, the theft occurred in the early hours of July 8 when the thieves arrived at Republic National Distributing Company in Gibsonton, Florida just south of Tampa at 4:10 a.m. and spent the next five hours loading more than 4,200 cases of liquor into the trailers.

Republic National Distributing carries such brands as Malibu Rum, Jose Cuervo, Sutter Home Winery, and Franzia Wines.

The company is one of the US’s largest distributors of spirits and wines, employing 14,000 workers across 38 states as well as the District of Columbia, according to the company’s website.

The search warrant was issued for an Apple iPhone 14 which authorities believe “contains specific information, technical data, and evidence” of burglary and grand theft, according to the warrant.

According to the unsealed warrant, the unknown thieves also removed the digital surveillance recorders used by Republic National Distributing.

In a statement to CNN, Republic National’s Vice President of Corporate Communications Kanchan Kinkade said while the company is unable to comment on an active investigation, it is confident that law enforcement is “taking all necessary steps to find the perpetrators of this crime.”

Investigators from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office were able to identify the tractor-trailers used in the July heist through surveillance footage from a nearby convenience store and another local business, according to the warrant.

Investigators later obtained surveillance video from a tractor-trailer storage facility showing the three trailers used to steal the cases of liquor.