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Burglars Open 1,200 Bottles of Koenig Pilsener Beer, Steal Bottle Caps

Police discovered that all of the opened bottles were of the same brand. They believe thieves were trying to win prizes offered through a promotion.
Image: erman police say thieves broke into a shop in Essen and opened more than 1,000 bottles of beer
German police say thieves broke into a shop in Essen and opened some 1,200 bottles of beer to boost their chances of winning in a contest based on codes found under the bottle caps. The incident occurred on August 15 or 16, although they could not be certain on what day exactly. Police Essen

MAINZ, Germany — Maybe these burglars were wine lovers.

Thieves who broke into a shop in Muelheim, Germany, opened 1,200 bottles of Koenig Pilsener beer — but left the otherwise untouched containers stacked neatly in their crates and the amber brew inside to spoil.

Crates full of opened bottles of beer sit in a shop after burglars took their caps but didn't drink the brew.Police Essen

Investigators were initially surprised to find that all of the opened bottles were of the same brand.

But they now believe the thieves were trying to win prizes offered through a brewery promotion.

The bottle caps had tokens printed on them — with some entitling the holder to tools and speakers.

Many of the caps weren't winners and the thieves left bits of the metal strewn across the shop's floor.

Marc Baron, a Koenig Brewery spokesman, said he found it "quite incredible" the someone would go to all such lengths to steal bottle caps.

"We have no way to track where the bottle caps were sold or in this case stolen, but we will now watch for someone who sends in an unusually high number of caps," he said.