Romford wine thieves make off with 280 bottles of vintage

A Romford man is appealing for help after thieves made off with 280 bottles of his beloved wine collection - leaving him with a �5,000 bill for their replacement.

“It’s really upsetting,” said accounts manager Steve Gordon. “A lot of it is irreplaceable. There’s a few from Switzerland and Washington that you just don’t see any more.

“It’s all been bought over years – it’s a really vast collection of different things.”

The discerning crooks broke into Mr Gordon’s garage, where the wine was kept, overnight between Monday September 10 and Tuesday September 11.

“The amazing thing is none of the wine was in boxes,” said Mr Gordon, 57. “It’s all in bottles and bottles chink around.

“The police are quite incredulous as to how it happened without anyone hearing anything.”

Mr Gordon has been the chairman of a central London wine society since the 1980s - with a collection built up over more than two decades.

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Among Mr Gordon’s liquid assets were a 1970 bottle of Taylor’s vintage port – the oldest wine in his collection – and a 1981 Penfolds Grange, which is worth about �230.

Other wines include a 1993 Armand Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin and a 1983 Armand Rousseau Mazy-Chambertin.

Mr Gordon, who is left with about 130 bottles, hopes someone might be able to identify his collection as some of the wine is so distinctive.

“It’s illegal to sell alcohol at boot sales,” he said. “Assuming it’s not kids getting drunk on wine they know nothing about, I don’t know how they’re going to dispose of it.

“Some of it’s so unusual the chances of it turning up and not being mine are small.”

To make matters worse, insurers say they won’t cover the full cost as the wine was kept in an external garage.

“It’s got to have been professionally done,” he said. “It’s the equivalent of about 25 cases of wine – you’d need a van.”

Anyone with information should call Havering police on 101. Mr Gordon is offering a �200 reward for information leading to arrest and conviction.