The owner of a Charleston-based distillery is offering a $10,000 reward for the return of 884 cases of whiskey stolen in a truck stop heist on June 10.
Matti Anttila, owner and president of Chicken Cock Whiskey, put up the reward after someone plundered a shipment of his product in the Pee Dee.
Thieves targeted an 18-wheel tractor-trailer truck, loaded with more than 10,000 bottles of Chicken Cock Whiskey, that had left the distillery in Charleston and was bound for Glazer’s, the brand’s Texas-based distributor, according to the company.
According to investigators, the driver called the Florence County Sheriff’s Office at about 9 a.m. on June 10 after his truck and trailer went missing from the Petro Gas Station on TV Road in Florence.
Later that morning, the truck was located at the TA Travel Center on West Lucas Street in Florence, the sheriff’s office said.
The trailer and contents, however, remain missing. Anttila estimates the whiskey, with a retail value of over $200,000, would be worth as much as $1.4 million if sold through restaurants or bars.
Chicken Cock Whiskey is a recently revitalized American whiskey brand. Originally a Kentucky bourbon first produced in 1856, the Chicken Cock brand was revived by Anttila for its vintage appeal and its history as the “house whiskey” at the famed Cotton Club in Harlem during prohibition, the company said.
“I guess it’s fitting that a brand that rose to prominence as a bootleg bourbon during prohibition gets hijacked just as it returns to market in 2013,” Anttila said in a statement. “While I appreciate the irony in this situation, we really would like our whiskey back.”
Anttila is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the shipment’s return in full. Investigators are asking anyone with information about this incident to contact Florence County Sheriff’s Office at 843-665-2121, Ext. 438 or Crime Stoppers of the Pee Dee at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or Twitter.com/glennsmith5.