Two arrested for liquor store theft after police chase

Photos of Damion Lamar Guy and Edward James Hope provided by the Allen County Sheriff's Department.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Two men suspected of breaking into a liquor store early Tuesday morning were arrested and police are looking to see if they’re responsible for similar thefts that have occurred in the Fort Wayne area recently.

According to an incident report provided by the Fort Wayne Police Department, an alarm sounded at the Belmont Beverage store located at 2799 Maplecrest Road just before 4:00 a.m. indicating a break-in.

When police arrived they found the glass front door had been broken, allowing thieves to get inside.

Just afterwards, a police officer spotted a van speeding near the intersection of Moeller and Adams Center roads. Another officer was able to place spike strips in the path of the van and all four tires were believed to have hit the strips which are designed to deflate tires.

The van stopped a short time later and the two occupants got out and took off.

They were both apprehended a short time later and police found several bottles of liquor inside the van that matched what had been stolen from the liquor store.

Damion Lamar Guy, 41, and Edward James Hope, 53, were arrested.

Gary Gardner, Operations Manager at Belmont Beverage, said he believes there are at least four people involved in the rash of liquor store burglaries. Belmont Beverage stores were burglarized at least 8 times, he said. He believes the thieves are stealing the liquor to sell on the black market.

New Haven police believe the two men tried to break into an S&V Liquors located in New Haven less than 15 minutes before the Belmont Beverage thefts took place, but because of security bars, they were unable to get in.

There have been more than a dozen liquor store break-ins recently and police are trying to determine if Guy and Hope are responsible.