A Taste for Burglary
For many some of the greatest pleasures of life can be summarized in the form of a country house in a glorious and bucolic setting. Normandy, France offers one such location. It is in the midst of this region that allows nature to flourish at its most productive levels that I chose to refurbish a centuries old stone farmhouse. There, the surrounding verdant fields and sparkling rivers produce many of France’s most treasured gastronomic riches, no inconsequential undertaking in a land where cuisine has been elevated to a level of practically sacred status. However the isolated nature of even the most idyllic of settings, which offer peaceful contemplation to those seeking its refuge, also provides opportunity for those of more nefarious design. The bane of the rural retreat is often its vulnerability for theft. However in France even robbery can underscore the country’s cultural appreciation of epicurean delights.
The house has been burglarized twice, yet both times with a particular French twist. The first time the wine cellar was targeted, a fitting pursuit for a country that values viniculture as among its most prized aptitudes. However it was the expert selection of what was stolen that perhaps best differentiated these thieves from the general burglar populace. Overriding consideration for additional time incurred, of course increasing opportunity for potential detection, these wine-thieves carefully culled through each bottle in the cellar demonstrating an exceptional knowledge of French vineyards. Only the very best of the wines were taken, with those of lesser pedigree left behind. The second robbery, albeit perhaps more serendipitously also ultimately involved a gastronomical theme. The kitchen cupboards had been recently stocked with the region’s most tempting harvests from the local marketplace. Apparently the allure of this plethora of refined fares proved overwhelming to the robbers, interfering with the original intent of their intrusion. Evidence at the scene indicated that they had sat down and enjoyed a resplendent meal. Clearly they left without fulfilling their original objective confirmed by several half filled suitcases of electronics and other valuables left behind. Perhaps some noise had frightened them off or they had simply enjoyed their meal too much to carry on with their intended objective.