Man Steals $20K Worth of Liquor in 5 Months: Murrieta PD

The suspect was arrested Friday night after allegedly robbing a Murrieta grocery store

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    SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 29: Bottles of champagne are seen on display at a Costco store December 29, 2008 in South San Francisco, California. As the economy continues to falter, sales of sparkling wine and champagne are down this year compared to a 4 percent surge from last year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

     A man arrested for stealing vodka and champagne from a Murrieta grocery store is suspected of swiping more than $20,000 worth of alcohol in five months, according to Murrieta police.

    Officers were called out to the Ralph’s grocery store in the 23800 block of Washington Avenue around 8:30 p.m. Friday for reports of an alcohol theft in progress.

    As they pulled up, officers caught Dominque Clayton, 22, as he was getting into his vehicle to flee, said Murrieta Police Sgt. Scott Montez.

    Inside the suspect’s car, officers found alcohol bottles worth $132 from this incident, but according to Montez, more incriminating evidence lay in the trunk – $1,200 worth of alcohol products stolen from other Ralph’s stores.

    Officers were able to confirm where the bottles were stolen from by using the UPC barcode labels.

    Montez said Clayton, a Riverside resident, has been tied to more than $20,000 worth of alcohol product thefts in San Bernardino, Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles over the past five months.

    According to investigators, Clayton admitted to liquor thefts dating back as far as three years, though it’s unclear which businesses were hit.