Two charged in unrelated alcohol heists at Belfast grocery store
BELFAST — Two men have been charged in back-to-back unrelated alcohol thefts at a grocery store Jan. 2 and 3, according to Belfast Police Sergeant Daniel Fitzpatrick.
Nicholas T. Ripley, 19, of Belfast, was issued a summons after allegedly stealing several bottles of liquor from a Belfast grocery store Jan. 2, including two 750 ml bottles of Hennessy, and one gallon of Jagermeister.
Ripley was dropped off at the door before he walked straight to the alcohol section of the store, now located just behind the produce section of the store, police said.
The theft was witnessed by store security personnel, who provided Belfast Police with a license plate number.
Fitzpatrick said they knew the family linked to the car and headed in that direction, ultimately catching up to the vehicle just as it pulled into the residence.
Ripley, who was not driving, exited the vehicle with officers parked behind it, and reportedly attempted to hide behind a truck while concealing the stolen merchandise in a snowbank, police said.
In addition to theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, Ripley was cited for unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor.
The driver of the vehicle, Shayla Belote, 37, of Belfast, was issued a summons for operating after suspension.
Just a day later, Brady Irish, 21, of Belfast, was charged with theft by unauthorized taking or transfer at a grocery store after filling a shopping cart with alcohol and walking directly back out the door without paying.
Irish was observed by store security as he allegedly loaded five 30-packs of beer, four one-gallon bottles of whiskey, eight bottles of bourbon, and one 18 pack of beer into his cart, totaling over $370, police said.
When Belfast Police responded to the scene they noticed a vehicle parked near the front doors of the store that they suspect may have been Irish’s ride, though it left the area after their arrival.
Irish reportedly “freely admitted” the thefts, Fitzpatrick said.
Both Ripley and Irish are scheduled to appear in court Feb. 23.
Erica Thoms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org