In three trips over 24 hours into the Piggly Wiggly, a 44-year-old Glendale man absconded with more than $300 worth of luxury goods such as Courvoisier, Hennessey and T-bone steaks.
And he might have gotten away with it if he had just kept his mouth closed.
According to Cedarburg police reports, a man walked out of the grocery on three separate occasions without paying for various items:
- 2:45 p.m. May 5: three bottles of Courvoisier cognac, about $32 each; two bottles of Hennessy cognac, about $38 each.
- 7:20 p.m. May 5: two bottles of liquor, valued at $35 each
- 10:15 a.m. May 6: $22 in catfish, $36 in T-bones and $16 in ribs.
In each case he came in with a cart and a green bag, and walked out either carrying the bag or pushing the cart filled with items.
The case broke the following day, May 7, when police were summoned to Cedar Springs Health & Rehabilitation Center on Lincoln Boulevard. A man was creating a disturbance, arguing with staff about the bill for his mother's care, according to the report.
The first officer who arrived asked a trailing officer to get a photo of the vehicle that was believed to belong to the person creating the scene. That second officer quickly identified the blue Chevy Trailblazer as resembling the suspect vehicle in the grocery store thefts.
According to the report, the suspect told police they “must not be very busy” if they had to come in and deal with issues like the argument at Cedar Springs. An officer told him they were indeed busy, investigating thefts from their local grocery store. That caused the man to get quiet and look away, and before long the discussion turned to the missing liquor and meat.
At first, the man admitted vaguely to taking something from the store at one time, but eventually confessed to all three thefts and was arrested.