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Washington cowboy wannabe destroys winery in bizarre standoff caught on camera


A cowboy hat-wearing, poncho-clad outlaw has managed to evade a Washington state sheriff after sabotaging $1 million worth of a winery’s product, leaving behind only spilled booze and a gunslinger’s silhouette on security footage. 

The stench of skunked wine met the noses of Sparkman Cellars employees in Woodinville when they returned to their booze-soaked warehouse after Thanksgiving, per the King County Sheriff’s Office. 

Security footage from Nov. 22, obtained by Fox 13, revealed what had transpired in the evening after they had locked up. 

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Sparkman Cellars winery crook

The suspect, dressed in a cowboy hat and a poncho, can be seen at Sparkman Cellars’ back entrance on Nov. 22. (FOX 13)

A yet-unidentified suspect, dressed in Old West attire, let himself into the facility using a keypad code at its employees’ only entrance. 

Then, cameras inside show the mysterious stranger enter the barrel room and open up two 2,500-gallon tanks of white wine. 

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Sparkman Cellars spilled wine

Two 2,500 white wine barrels were emptied onto the warehouse floor. The suspect took a few minutes to admire his work before leaving the scene, per security footage. (FOX 13)

After a few minutes of watching the gold rush, the suspect left the building, opened a dark umbrella and vanished into the surrounding woods. It is unclear whether he celebrated with a glass of wine as he admired his work. 

After speaking with owners, Fox 13 estimates the equivalent of 25,000 bottles of wine – $1 million worth of product before the costs of an extensive clean-up – were wasted. 

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Sparkman Cellars wine bandit umbrella

Silhouetted against the light from the winery at his back, the suspect opens an umbrella and leaves the scene as quickly as he arrived. (FOX 13)

The winery had just finished barreling all its wine to age after a “successful harvest,” according to King 5 News.

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Wine bandit at Sparkman Cellars

The bandit can be seen vanishing into surrounding woods, leaving no clue as to his identity after the devastating operation. (FOX 13)

Now, the outlet reported, employees are “scrambling to find solutions” and get their orders filled. 

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The King County Sheriff’s Office, who could not be reached at press time, has not identified a suspect to the public. Their investigation is still ongoing, and anyone with relevant information is asked to reach out to detectives. 



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