Wild in the aisles: Massive late-night beer blitz caught on camera
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
CREATED Sep. 4, 2012
Reporter: Kevin Keen
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - They came, they ransacked, they left, and a southside convenience store owner has the surveillance video to prove it. Now, after falling victim to the late-night beer blitz, the businesswoman wants justice and your help obtaining it.
The footage from FastLane Chevron on Ajo Way near I-10 shows the teens walking casually to the beer section then quickly swarming the cooler late Sunday night. Seconds later, it's an all-out sprint for the exit at the store, as the young men and women carry cases and cans of alcoholic contraband to the door.
Manager Julie Norris told 9 On Your Side the group made off with dozens of cans and bottles of beer in just two minutes. Norris is still counting just how many.
“I guess I’m glad they didn't take more, but I’m angry at what they took,” Norris laughed. “It brings out that mom in me!”
No laughing matter is how these teens did it at a store that prides itself on being a safe place for customers and workers. They did it in numbers.
9 On Your Side reporter Kevin Keen asked Norris, “When you come in in a group like that, what are you able to accomplish that just the lone thief couldn't do?” “I think in numbers, you know your clerk can't do much,” she answered.
“Does the idea scare you?” Keen asked Norris. “Yes, it does,” she replied. “It's very frightening to think about a gang. You get so many people in here that they could do anything they want.”
The teens used neither weapons nor force, according to Norris.
Southern Arizona has seen this kind of large-group borderline looting before. In 2007, cameras caught 50 to 100 teens ransacking a Pima County Shell station.
Tucson Police Department's Sgt. Chris Widmer called carrying out a crime like this rare.
9 On Your Side wanted to know: If you can't prevent it, what's a store to do?
“The best thing to do when it happens is let them do what they're going to do, get the best descriptions you can,” the department spokesman answered. “If you have video--surveillance--get that ready for police. But it's property. It's something the stores can replace. Don't put yourself in any danger to save any of it.”
Norris believes the key to cracking this case--and preventing more--is the public.
Keen asked her, “By sharing that footage and those pictures with us, what do you hope happens?” “I'm hoping that their parents will see it,” Norris answered.
Tucson police are working on this case. If you have any information, call 88-CRIME.