Circle K surveillance image of suspect in beer run thefts. (Source: Phoenix Police Department)
Angelo De Leon seen in a booking photo in 2011.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A suspect being called one the city's most prolific beer bandits is accused of pulling off 54 beer thefts in nine months at Valley convenience stores, Phoenix police said.
Police said it was the equivalent of stealing 1,000 eight-packs of beer.
Angelo De Leon said he did it to pay bills, according to Sgt. James Holmes.
De Leon targeted Circle K stores between May 2013 and February 2014, officers said.
Authorities said the total dollar amount lost in the thefts was almost $6,878.
Detectives worked with Circle K to acquire surveillance video. Detectives with the Phoenix police Business and Economic Stability teams were able to identify De Leon as the suspect seen in the videos.
On Wednesday, officers got a call about a man walking in the roadway and acting strange in the area of 6700 W. Virginia Ave.
When police arrived, they detained the man and identified him as De Leon. Officers discovered he was named the suspect in several beer thefts and took him to police headquarters.
De Leon was arrested and booked for 54 counts of organized retail theft.
"Of course our concern is the economic impact, but the biggest concern is that he's done 54 of these. What happens if on number 55, someone tries to stop him? We could have someone injured, or worst," said Phoenix police Officer James Holmes.
Detectives said the investigation is continuing, and they are looking into who De Leon may have sold the alcohol to.
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