More Teens Arrested for Stealing Beer, Cigarettes

More Teens Arrested for Stealing Beer, Cigarettes

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Sandra Yi reporting You've heard of gas runs. But what about beer runs? Police are beginning to bust more teens for stealing alcohol and cigarettes.

One of those busts happened just last night. And several teens were arrested.

This is one crime we may be hearing more about. In fact, one convenience store owner told us someone came into his store early this morning, stole some beer and escaped in a getaway car.

Hussam Soweidan says it's just one bad effect of the warmer weather. "More kids are partying. They run out of beer and they're really drunk and they go do beer runs. It happens a lot."

And that's frustrating for convenience store owners like Soweidan. He's already stopped one beer thief in his tracks.

"So I chased him outside, stopped him and took the beer from him and kicked him off the property," Soweidan says.

But another recently got away with a 30 pack of beer.

Other convenience stores have similar stories. Last night, a group of teens shoplifted several packs of beer and cigarettes from a Salt Lake 7-11 at 1320 S. 700 East. They were caught a few blocks away.

It's a crime police say will happen more, now that it's warming up outside. And disturbingly, most of the culprits are underage.

While many of them aren't violent, police say they can be, if store employees try to resist.

"Whenever you've got kids that are consuming alcohol, it makes them make stupid mistakes and stupid choices. So that's a concern," says Detective Kevin Joiner of the Salt Lake police department.

Soweidan says he's always on the lookout.

"They'll walk in here with a hat," he tell us. "They'll start looking down and they'll monitor what you're doing. That's what they do. Most of the time, there's probably a car waiting outside."

Soweidan says, he'll take matters into his own hands. He'll take down license plate numbers. Still, he says, most of the time the suspects won't get caught.

"The cops don't do much about that kind of stuff," he says.

Police say they do take beer runs seriously. They know which stores get hit more often and officers will patrol those areas.

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