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How Merlot Can You Go? California Man Allegedly Stole $12,000 Worth Of Wine From Winery To Guarantee His Paycheck: Cops

california man stole wine guarantee paycheck
Source: Napa County Sheriff's Office

Mar. 29 2023, Published 5:03 p.m. ET

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A delivery driver in California allegedly stole several boxes of wine in an attempt to ensure he would receive his final paycheck from his job, authorities said.

Jose Humberto Martinez, 29, was recently fired from his job as a delivery driver at Go Express, a shipping company, KRON-TV reported.

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Martinez allegedly stole a van from Go Express and went to a Napa winery and used a fake name saying he was picking up a shipment. The winery was allegedly waiting for the company to come pick up the wine boxes for their wine club, according to KRON-TV.

Days had passed since Martinez picked up the wine boxes and the winery employees reached out to Go Express and their parent company, GLS, several times because they realized the wine was missing, KRON-TV reported.

According to the winery employee, the shipping companies didn’t have any reports of stolen trucks or wine. The missing wine was supposed to be sent to wine club members in California and Nevada and was worth about $12,000, the employee said.

An employee with the winery filed a police report and 15 minutes later they received a phone call that deputies found the van, KRON-TV reported.

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Martinez was arrested and charged with grand theft, taking a vehicle without consent and receiving stolen property, officials said.

He stated he was “holding the wine as a way to get his final paycheck from his former job,” police said.

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His bond was set at $25,000.

According to KRON-TV, the win was still in good condition due to the cold temperature inside the van.

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