Investigators recover whiskey trailer but booze still missing

Charleston-based Chicken Cock Whiskey is offering a $10,000 reward for the return of 884 cases of its product stolen in Florence County.

A stolen trailer that carried 884 cases of Charleston-made whiskey has turned up in the Sunshine State, but the booze bandits and their booty still haven’t been found.

Thieves made off with the long-haul trailer and its cargo of Chicken Cock Whiskey on June 10 while the driver was parked at a truck stop in Florence. The Charleston distiller lost more than 10,000 bottles with a retail value topping $200,000, the company said.

Florence County sheriff’s Capt. Michael M. Nunn said investigators located the stolen long-haul trailer in Florida this week, but the flavored whiskey was no longer inside.

“We are working with other jurisdictions, but as this investigation is ongoing, we are not in a position to comment further,” he said.

A $10,000 reward offered by the distiller for the return of the shipment in full remains unclaimed.

“Regarding the reward offer, we have received some calls which we’ve forwarded to investigators,” Chicken Cock owner and president Matti Anttila said. “As of yet, none of the information from those calls has been corroborated.”

Thieves targeted the shipment after it left the distillery in Charleston in an 18-wheel tractor trailer truck bound for Glazer’s, the brand’s Texas-based distributor, according to the company.

The driver alerted sheriff’s deputies after his truck went missing from the Petro Gas Station on TV Road in Florence, authorities said.

Deputies located the truck later that morning at TA Travel Center in Florence, but the trailer and its intoxicating contents were missing.

“I’m confident that the resources being deployed by police and investigators will lead to the successful recovery of the product,” Anttila said.

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