Police search for local "beer bandits" - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police search for local "beer bandits"

Beer bandits targeted one store so many times, cases are now kept in a cooler behind the counter. But thirsty thieves continue to strike.

"And they're doing it over and over and over again," says Sgt. W. Chester Sweet with Memphis Police.

Numerous stores have been hit a number of times. Most of them are located along East Shelby Drive. There are at least three guys, using several different cars.

"And they wait 'til we get crowded and then come in and steal it and then rush out," says store clerk Angel Leflore.

Police say these bandits basically walk right in, head to the beer cooler, and grab as many cold ones as they can. That's sometimes up to three cases apiece. These bandits are so brazen, they sometimes look directly at the surveillance camera.

"Very bold, very cocky, very brash," says Sgt. Sweet.

One store put a photo on the front door, publicly humiliating one so-called "beer thief." That thief was caught on tape just this past weekend by a manager who preferred to remain anonymous.

"Same guys, different outfits perhaps, a mustache," says the manager. "But typically the same guys" he adds.

"They come so regularly, that the clerks see them and they run to the door and lock it," says Sgt. Sweet.

That doesn't work most of the time. And clerks simply end up losing money and a lot of patience.

"They can tell you, they've hot me 10 times, 12 times, last night, they'll probably come tomorrow," says Sweet.

That's something both stores and police hope to stop. The fear is that these bold bandits may become dangerous as their crimes progress. Right now, anybody caught could face felony shop-lifting charges.

If you have any information about these beer bandits, call Crime-Stoppers at 528-CASH.

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