Patricia Hill owned 104 bottles of valuable whiskey that came with the mansion she bought and converted to a historic inn in PIttsburgh. The Old Farm Pure Rye Whiskey was distilled in 1912, and was hidden under a staircase. The property had been sold several times before Hill found it during a remodeling project.
Hill did not immediately return calls for comment. [Police chief] Pritts said that Hill put the whiskey bottles in the basement while the main floors were being renovated. John Saunders, 62, was a caretaker who lived in the basement and was expected to safeguard the booze.
“You know, to watch over them and keep them secure. I guess that was a mistake,” Pritts said.
Hill discovered that 52 of the bottles had been emptied in March 2012, and reported it to police. All four cases of whiskey had been emptied within about a year, Pitts said.
Saunders denied that he consumed the vintage alcohol, but police tested the empty bottles to see if they matched Saunders’ DNA. After seven months of testing, police confirmed that Saunders’ DNA was found on the bottles, and charged him with felony theft and receiving stolen property, Pritts said.
The whiskey was valued at $102,400, but it is doubtful that restitution will be made. Saunders’ attorney told the court that Saunders is waiting for a liver transplant. Click here for more on the story.