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Thieves Ransack Murphys Winery Hours After Annual Grape Stomp

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MURPHYS (CBS13) – Thieves broke into a Sierra Foothills winery over the weekend just 24 hours after the town’s annual grape stomp.

Scott Klann is the winemaker and owner of Newsome-Harlow Wines. During the busiest weekend of the year, hours after the busiest event in Murphys, his winery was broken into.

“I got to work Sunday. Lights were on, doors were open,” Klann said. Who was here? Did we work too late. Did we drink too much last night?”

No, it wasn’t a hazy blur after a night of too much wine. Rather, Scott realized the sober truth that his wine lab was a target of thieves.

“The lab had been ransacked,” he said. “All the cupboards were open, broken glass all over the floor.”

They tried to take a pricey piece of lab equipment, but it shattered.

“It’s got a burner in it tube going in it and twirled tubes look like something you’d see in ‘Breaking Bad,'” he said.

Scott believes they thought they could make meth with it. They even took fuel they got out of Scott’s ATVs and four-wheelers.

“There’s a lot of valuable stuff in wineries and valuable stuff they walked right by,” he said.

Very rarely do we ever hear of wineries being broken into, especially in the small town of Murphys where streets are filled with welcoming shops in a city surrounded by ranches on rolling hills.

“This is Mayberry,” local mortgage banker Mark Hughes said. “This is the reason we live here. There’s not a lot of crime here. A lot of people leave their doors open.”

But deputies say a string of beak-ins have turned this wine lover’s paradise a bit sour.

People are taking extra precautions now in locking up after themselves.

“Having to deal with fixing doors and gates and things like and there’s not a whole lot of time during crush,” Scott said.

But Scott’s going to keep crushing, refusing to let his 2012 vintage become tainted because of thieves..

There have been no arrests so far in the break-in.

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