Teens suspected of stealing alcohol worth thousands of dollars

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:

Teenage girls as young as 15 are suspected of stealing thousands of dollars worth of alcohol from a Publix in Charlotte County.

Three teenagers, ages 15, 16, and 17, were arrested by the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office after deputies spotted them running behind a patrol car after allegedly stealing liquor from the grocery store.

Deputies claim that the teenage girls spent months stealing across Florida, hitting 19 stores in total.

Of the 19 stores, around 16 came from different jurisdictions.

“We have a group, the liquor stores, and we send pictures to all of them and say, ‘Watch out for them,'” said Shashi Patel, manager of a liquor store in North Port.

Patel says that when the girls entered his store on Feb. 1, other liquor stores had already warned him about the teenagers.

He claims that the girls questioned him about his inventory while remaining skittish about assistance from his staff.

Patel then told WINK News that he asked the girls to leave his store after recognizing that they had brought several large bags, which is an indicator of attempted thefts, according to deputies.

He was lucky. However, his cousin, who owns a liquor store near Price Boulevard, was not so fortunate.

Patel’s cousin was hit by the girls in early February.

While his cousin chose not to disclose how much merchandise was stolen, he mentioned that it was an expensive theft.

When asked to estimate the cost of the alcohol recovered by deputies, Patel told WINK News that the monetary amount ranged from $2,000 to $3,000.

The girls were released on bond, but they are expected to face a judge in March.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.