MODESTO (CBS13) — It is a wine heist like you’ve never seen before.
The Modesto CHP arrested Gabriel Moreno after he allegedly jumped on a moving tanker truck carrying bulk red wine, climbed under its belly to unscrew a valve, and drank the wine as the truck traveled up Highway 99.
Video of the wild ride was recorded on the Cherokee Freight Lines tanker truck Moreno allegedly targeted.
The dashcam video first shows Moreno in a sedan, putting his hazard lights on, directing the truck to the side of the highway.
The truck driver pulls over, believing he may have a mechanical problem, only to see Moreno get out with only his underwear on. The camera shows Moreno running to the passenger side of the truck and out of view.
As the truck driver pulls back on the freeway, another onboard camera captures Moreno jump back into view, then on the back of the wine truck.
With no shirt and no shoes, he rides on the side of the tanker. The video then shows him climb underneath the truck as it hits freeway speeds.
That’s when the driver noticed a dashboard gauge showing he was losing fluids — hundreds of gallons of wine. So, he called the CHP.
“I’ve listened to thousands and thousands of calls,” Modesto CHP officer Tom Olsen said. “This one’s up there in the top 10.”
The truck driver allegedly found Moreno in an unusual position. Moreno had unscrewed a valve underneath the truck, as it was traveling north on Highway 99.
That sent the tanker’s wine gushing, and Moreno gulping as much as he could.
“This individual was able to release the wine from under the tanker, and he placed himself underneath the tanker in such a manner, the best way to describe this was somebody doing like snow angels,” Officer Olsen said.
This Highway 99 red wine heist — big and bold — with a finish in handcuffs.
“This individual got exactly what they were looking for immediately,” Officer Olsen said.
The trucking company says they lost about 1,000 gallons of red wine, most of it ending up on Highway 99. That is enough to fill about 5000 bottles of red wine.