Deputies Arrest Tulsa Man Suspected Of Convenience Store 'Beer Runs'

Thursday, January 16th 2014, 3:34 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa County sheriff's deputies arrest a suspected "beer bandit."

They say James Davis III, admitted to stealing beer 11 different times, but they suspect he's done it about 30 more times.

Stealing beer might not seem like a big crime, but deputies say these crimes escalate.

Sheriff's deputies say thanks to the great surveillance pictures from Quik Trip, it didn't take long to identify the bandit who was walking into stores, grabbing a couple of cases of beer or energy drinks, then walking out without paying.

It happened around 50 times between December 14 and January 14.

They say Davis counted on the stores being busy, with lots of customers, making it tough for employees to confront him.

They suspect Davis has participated in about 40 of these larcenies.

Deputies say anyone willing to commit these types of crimes in the open, on camera, wouldn't hesitate to turn violent. In fact, in some of the cases, employees said the person taking the beer lifted a shirt, showing they had a knife or even a gun in their waistband.

Deputies say this is not a case of kids stealing beer to drink, this is business.

Major Tom Huckeby said, "What they'll do is take these items to other, smaller stores that don't have the scruples of Quik Trip and resell the items to those smaller stores at a reduced rate, thereby stocking their shelves with Quik Trip's items or Kum and Go's items or somebody else's items. They'll sell them and still make their money and not have the overhead Quik Trip did."

Deputies say they are hoping by stopping this crime at this level, they won't have to deal with more serious burglaries and robberies down the road.

Records show Davis is a an ex-con who's supposed to be currently enrolled in drug court.

Deputies say if you see someone making a beer run, don't try to stop them, because it could turn violent and it's not worth getting hurt.