Police: man repeatedly stole liquor from Kroger

Mug shot of James Stewart provided by the Allen Co. Sheriff's Dept.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)  Police arrested a man who investigators believe stole alcohol from Kroger five separate times and tried to steal it a sixth time. James Stewart, 47, is facing two felony counts of theft.

According to the Affidavit for Probable Cause, Stewart was seen on surveillance video committing the crimes. In the first instance, he reportedly went to the grocery store on April 24 and put a gallon of milk, a bottle of orange juice, a bottle of Hennessey, and two bottles of Crown Royal in his cart and pushed it past the u-scan registers and out the door. The value of the items taken was $111.25.

On April 25, video showed Stewart put two bottles of Grey Goose and two bottles of Absolute vodka in his cart and walk out without paying for them. The value of those items was $155.96.

Just before 9:00 a.m. on April 26, Stewart allegedly picked up two bottles of Absolute vodka and walked out of the store. The loss to Kroger was $87.98.

Around 4:00 p.m. the same day, surveillance cameras showed Stewart put a bottle of Grey Goose, a bottle of Ciroc, a bottle of Oblesik, a bottle of Envious, and two bottles of Absolute vodka into a shopping cart and then walk past the cash registers. The value of the stolen items was $215.24.

On April 27, Stewart allegedly went into a Kroger store and put a bottle of Crown Royal, five bottles of Tito vodka, and a bottle of Jose Cuervo Gold into a cart. He attempted to walk out but fled when he was stopped by an employee. Kroger recovered all $185.93 in merchandise. The employee identified Stewart from six images shown to her in a photo array.

Video recorded on May 3 showed Stewart selecting three bottles of Grey Goose and two bottles of Absolute vodka and walking out the door without paying for them. It appeared he was holding the bottles under his coat. Inventory showed those items, valued at $153.95, were missing.

The court documents do not reveal if the thefts all happened at one Kroger store or if they took place at separate locations.

The total value of the thefts was $724.38.



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