Wine thieves headed to prison

by: Amy Clancy Updated:

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SEATTLE —

Even after weeks of meticulously planning the crime, the two men who stole more than $650,000 worth of wine from Esquin wine storage in Seattle, last Thanksgiving are headed to prison.

Thirty-five-year-old Samuel Harris was sentenced by King County Superior Court Judge Julie Spector to nine years in prison Friday afternoon. His accomplice, 36-year old Luke Thesing, received five years.

Harris was handed a stiffer sentence because not only was he the mastermind of the caper, he also cut the SoDo facility's gas lines, hoping to cause a fire that would cover their tracks.

In court, prosecutors and victims told the judge that the massive theft wasn't the worst part of the crime, it’s what could have happened had the building exploded. 

Wine storage customer Brian Fung was at Esquin when the theft and the cut gas lines were discovered.

"It's just stuff; I can replace stuff," Fung said about the loss of his wine. "But I want to go home to my daughter."

Both Harris and Thesing pleaded guilty earlier this month, blaming mental illness and depression for their involvement.

Spector didn't buy those reasons as an excuse. She told the court plenty of people are depressed and still don't commit crimes.