PD: Man accused of stealing beer 54 times said he sold it to pay bills

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Angelo De Leon By Jennifer Thomas Angelo De Leon By Jennifer Thomas
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Phoenix police officers have arrested a man suspected of stealing nearly $7,000 worth of beer from convenience stores across the Valley over the span of nine months.

Angelo De Leon allegedly stole beer from Phoenix area Circle K stores 54 different times between May 2013 and February 2014.

Police said they received reports Wednesday about someone walking in the roadway and acting strangely near 67th Avenue and Thomas Road.

Officers detained the man and identified him as De Leon, learning he had been reported as the suspect in the beer thefts.

Detectives from the police department’s Business and Economic Stability Team studied surveillance footage from the stores and identified De Leon as the suspect, according to police.

Police said De Leon has been booked on 54 counts of organized retail theft.

He reportedly told officers at the time of his arrest that he sold the beer to pay bills.

Police said detectives do not know who bought the beer, and the investigation is ongoing.