Police are Looking for 'Beer Bandit' - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

02/05/07 - Lufkin

Police are Looking for 'Beer Bandit'

by Ramonica R. Jones

In several different surveillance videos from the Lufkin Police Department, a man is caught on camera stealing alcohol from a convenience store.

"He walks in [and] picks up the beer like any other customer, except when he gets to the counter, he just bolts out the door and runs," said Lt. David Young. "It is a theft, but if it's a continuing course of action, you can add all the amounts together and make it a higher classification of theft."

Police believe all the beer thefts are related because the type of beer stolen and the thief's getaway are the same.

"The suspect description is pretty much the same in each of them - a white male wearing a hooded jacket and leaving in a white pickup," said Young. "This is particularly hard for a store to defend against because, until the very last second, he looks like a regular customer."

The beer bandit has hit several Lufkin convenience stores in the past two weeks. He seems to prefer Coors Light but, Sunday night, he took a different brand of beer from the Polk's store off Chestnut. He also strikes at night - between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.

An increase in alcohol-related crime is one reason people in four Angelina County towns are pushing a petition to keep alcohol out of their communities, but Hudson is the only town to turn in its petition. Religious leaders there collected 475 signatures. The Angelina County elections office is now verifying those signatures to make sure they are valid.

If they are validated, Hudson residents will vote on beer and wine sales in the May election. Alcohol opponents in Diboll, Huntington, and Zavalla are also circulating a petition to ban alcohol in their communities.

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