Recession spawns 30-pack beer thefts

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Burglar bars, a metal rolling door, and even security cameras. Nothing is stopping people from stealing from the MB convenience store at the corner of Raguet and Abney.

"The way they just come in, look me like that, pick-up the beer, they come down here, just pick like this and run away, right away," said Mina Patell, owner of MB.Thirty-packs are not even making it to the check-out counter because people are just stealing them.

Mina Patell is fed-up. "I'm losing around $75 to $80 a month stealing a beer," said Patell.

It is a family owned business, so she knows about hard times, but has no sympathy for theives. "People don't have job and they get depressed and they want to drink beer badly and they have no choice so they just come and steal the beer," said Patell.

But not all the theives are about a cheap buzz, some are making a quick buck. "People who steal the beer are selling outside too, dollar a can," said Patell.

Police say people are also ripping off 30-packs from other stores like Brookshire Brothers. "I think there's a whole group and they are talking with each other like go to this and go to this store like that," said Patell.

After 20 years of business, she just wants people to show some respect. "We are working for our bread and butter and they need to also work for that instead of stealing," said Patell.

Since March there has been six 30-pack theft reports, and those are just the ones That have been reported.