PD: Phoenix woman sold stolen beer, offered beer run tips

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
Irene, Gonzalez, 58 By Mike Gertzman Irene, Gonzalez, 58 By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix woman was arrested Thursday after allegedly teaching her neighbors how to do beer runs and selling the beer they stole.

The investigation into 58-year-old Irene Gonzalez began after Phoenix police arrested a man in late February on suspicion of shoplifting two 18-packs of beer from a Circle K store.

The man reportedly told police he planned to sell the beer to "mama" and that everyone in the neighborhood takes their beer to her.

Detectives from the police department's Business and Economic Security Team identified Gonzalez as "mama."

Police said that between Feb. 27 and March 28, undercover detectives sold eight 30-packs of beer to Gonzalez for an average of $15 per pack. The beer was provided by Circle K for the investigation.

Gonzalez reportedly told detectives she sold the beer for $1 per can.

She also allegedly tutored the undercover detectives on the best practices for shoplifting beer, such as conducting beer runs on Mondays, stealing Budweiser and Bud Light because they are the most popular beers for resale, and bringing a friend to help so more beer could be obtained.

Police said Gonzalez also warned them about undercover officers in the area.

Detectives served a search warrant Thursday on her apartment near 28th Street and Broadway Road. They reportedly confiscated 26 cases of beer, several individual cans, and more than $5,600 in cash.

Gonzalez was booked on suspicion of four counts of trafficking in stolen property, a class two felony, and one count of liquor sales without a license, a class one misdemeanor.