Second suspect arrested, charged in high-end wine heist

Second suspect arrested, charged in high-end wine heist
Esquin Wine & Spirits

SEATTLE -- A second man has been arrested and charged in connection with the Thanksgiving weekend theft of up to $600,000 worth of high-end wine from Seattle's Esquin Wine & Spirits. However, the more than 200 cases of stolen wine have still not been found.

According to charging documents filed Monday with the King County Prosecutor's Office, 35-year-old Luke Thesing was arrested Dec. 6 at his home in North Seattle. On Monday, he was charged with attempted arson, burglary and theft.

On Nov. 29, two men broke into Esquin, which contains 450 privately rented wine storage lockers, painted over its security cameras, and spent the next 13 hours carting cases of wine out of the business, according to the Seattle Police Department.

According to police, the men then cut two gas lines into Esquin and attempted to blow up the business but succeeded only in filling it with gas, alerting a building manager.

An investigation led police to 34-year-old Samuel Harris, who had previously rented a storage locker at Esquin. He was arrested at his South Seattle home Dec. 2 and charged with attempted arson, burglary and theft.

New details from the charging documents filed Monday reveal police found a journal labeled "The Plan" in Harris' SUV. The journal reportedly included a step-by-step guide to the crime, a list of needed equipment, steps to destroy any evidence, steps to ship the wine and how to leave the country.

In addition, police found a book titled "Thinking  About Crime," as well as printed out documents called "Is it Accidental Fire or Arson?" and "How to Commit the Perfect Crime," inside Harris' house, according to the charging documents.

In the charging documents, officials with Puget Sound Energy, the Seattle Police Department and the Seattle Fire Department said catastrophic damage and loss of life could have resulted if Thesing and Harris had successfully blown up Esquin.

There were 25 to 30 people inside the facility housing Esquin at the time. The building is also close to pedestrians, traffic, other businesses and passing light rail trains.

Thesing and Harris, both plumbers by trade, are being held on $500,000 bail with a scheduled arraignment set for Dec. 19.