Champagne Thief Threatens Drug Store Manager, Escapes

Suspect openly takes six bottles of bubbly, ignores manager who tries to stop him, then implies that he might turn a weapon on him if he keeps following.


A drug store manager backed off from trying to get the license plate number of a thief when the man threatened him, implying perhaps that he had a gun in his car and was willing to use it.

The manager had done well even to confront the thief, considering the suspect was well over 6 feet tall, weighed more than 200 pounds and had already demonstrated an utter disregard for property and authority.

According to police reports:

At 1:29 p.m. Saturday, police were called to the Walgreen’s store at 6600 W. State St. for a liquor theft that had just occurred.

The manager told officers that he had walked past the liquor aisle and heard bottles clinking. He glanced in and saw a man wearing a big, puffy coat, clearly weighed down with large, heavy objects. He was just walking away from a display that the manager knew had held six bottles of Korbel Brut champagne a short time before. It was now empty.

The manager told police he openly followed the man to the front of the store and could hear clinking glass the whole time. He tried to stop the suspect at the door, once he was past the last point of purchase, but the suspect pushed past him without a word and headed for a waiting car.

When the manager followed to get the license number of the car, the suspect turned and threatened him, saying, “Don’t follow me, I’ve got something in the car for you!”

The manager said he heard a woman’s voice from the car, shouting “Go, go, go!” and the two left at high speed. Police were unable to locate the suspects.

The male suspect was described as African-American with a dark complexion, 35 to 40 years old, 6 feet 3 inches to 6 feet 5 inches tall, weighing 200 to 230 pounds, clean-shaven and with close-cut hair. He was wearing a long black coat and dark pants at the time.

He and the woman left in a black Chevy Malibu sedan, model year 2000 or older, with heavily tinted windows, with a spoiler on the trunk and no front plate. The manager never saw the female accomplice through the tinted glass and could offer no description.

alt ideas needed October 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM
if you don't believe in keeping a gun at home, then be prepared for people like this to just take what they want
jbw October 18, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Do you put a cute little sign out front that says "beware of gun" so they have a reason not to try? Or is the idea to hope that you surpise them instead of the other way around, and you are the quicker/more accurate shot, and you have the time and money to handle the resulting charges? I use a locked door myself. It works during the times I'm not at home, too. The gun just gets stolen in that event - an important source of arms for would-be robbers. Sorry, but how does the gun actually make things better on balance? I guess in the unlikely event that someone psychotic smashes into the place while I'm home it would make less of a mess than using one of the chef's knives or decorative swords, but it just doesn't seem worth the hassle to me. I just find it funny that Walgreen's recent idea to add liquor to that store succeeded in attracting the same people who trawl the Metcalfe's, Sendik's, and the Pick 'N Save every week to steel booze. They must be proud of their cultural traditions.


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