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Wine theft in the Kronenschlösschen in Eltville apparently solved – three arrests | hessenschau.de

The break-in at the Eltville Kronenschlösschen, in which very valuable wines were stolen in 2021, is apparently the work of serious criminals. Three men were arrested. The initially suspected operating family found out about it by chance.

The theft of wine from the Kronenschlösschen gourmet restaurant in Eltville-Hattenheim (Rheingau-Taunus) has apparently been solved after around three years. As the Wiesbaden public prosecutor’s office announced in response to a request from HR, three people “from the area of ​​organized crime” were arrested in mid-December. The operation was coordinated by police Bochum.

Investigations against operators stopped

Shortly after the theft in January 2021, the family operating the restaurant was initially targeted by Hessian investigators. Owner Hans B. Ullrich now said in a written statement: “The speculation by the insurance company, the police and the public prosecutor’s office that it could not have been unknown, non-local perpetrators, but that there must have been ‘insider knowledge’, turned out to be wrong.”

He continued: “Today it has been proven: all suspicions against the owner of the crown castle were unjustified.” As the family suspected from the start, it was a “commercial gang theft involving a serious criminal.” Owner Ullrich continued that he had already been convicted several times and had committed at least two burglaries in other wine cellars.

Months of undercover investigations

According to Bochum police, the three arrested men, aged between 39 and 65, were caught after months of undercover investigations. Several objects in North Rhine-Westphalia (Gelsenkirchen, Düsseldorf, Meerbusch) and Lower Saxony (Diepholz) were searched.

The origin of the investigation was an evaluation of seized cell phone data. According to the Bochum police, a suspect from the wine cellar sent a message about the loot to an accomplice. Another hotel burglary in Austria is said to be the responsibility of individual suspects. In addition, those arrested are said to have been involved in the international drug trade with cocaine.

Seven hours in the wine cellar

During the Corona lockdown on the night of January 13th to 14th, 2021, the perpetrators broke into the wine cellar of the hotel and restaurant, which was filled with around 16,000 bottles. According to Ullrich, they stayed there for seven hours “to select and transport rare wines.” The stolen wines were later brought across the border.

Wines worth 235,000 euros were stolen. Ullrich reported the amount of damage to his insurance company, which did not want to reimburse it, and filed a complaint against unknown persons. Ullrich criticized that this was not pursued by the Bad Schwalbach police. He emphasized that he had repeatedly pointed out gang theft in similar cases.

Searches of private apartments with SEK

The investigators instead suspected the owner Ullrich of having faked insurance fraud. The Wiesbaden public prosecutor’s office opened proceedings against the Ullrichs and their sommelier.

More than 40 officers with the support of a special operations team then searched the private apartments of Ullrich, his daughter Johanna, all of the Kronenschlösschen’s business premises and the sommelier’s apartment. They confiscated files and computers.

Malice on social media

For five days, 30 police cars stood in front of the restaurant, which is located directly on Federal Highway 42. Of course, word like this gets around quickly in the small Rheingau. Everyone who saw the police presence called and asked what was going on, said Johanna Ullrich at the Discontinuation of the proceedings in September 2022.

She had to read a lot of malice and insinuations on social media, “insults and comments and more,” followed by evil looks and speeches in the village.

Ullrich: not informed about arrests

Her father now criticized the investigators again: Although the police in Bochum and the public prosecutor’s office in Düsseldorf had already identified the perpetrators in the summer of 2023 and informed the Hessian police of all the details, the Kronenschlösschen was not informed of this.

He only became aware of this in the course of this legal dispute because he had filed an official liability lawsuit against the state of Hesse.

When asked by HR, his daughter Johanna Ullrich also said: “Neither the Bad Schwalbach police nor the Düsseldorf public prosecutor’s office ever informed us that the perpetrators had been caught.”

Further information

Broadcast: hr4, April 17, 2024, 12:30 p.m

End of further information

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