Midland Police Say Illegal Beer Runs are a Big Problem

By Abby Reed
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - According to Midland Police, illegal beer runs are out of control. Officers say since September, they've responded to 76 beer runs.

"It's like a shock, it happens so fast, they are just in and out," Kent Kwik store manager, Michael Martinez, said.

Martinez has been a convenience store manager for 10 years and said he has seen his fair share of criminals who run in and out, making off with a five fingered discount on beer.

"They'll do anything, I've seen them speed off and run over poles, it's just unbelievable what they'll do," Martinez said.

Police say the city is averaging about two beer runs a day and they say part of the problem is there's little to no penalty for someone who snatches beer.

"It's not prosecuted as much as it needs to be," Midland Police Sgt. Darin Clements, said.

By law, theft of anything worth less than $50, is considered a Class C Misdemeanor which means crooks could face a fine, but not much more. 

However, police are working to cut down on the problem. They'd like to put officers and citizens on patrol at each convenience store.  However, until then many stores are doing their own patrol, locking up beer at night, and keeping display cases in the back of the store. 
"You might get away with it, just to have a couple hours of fun, I don't believe it's worth it at all," Martinez said.