April 10, 2013

Same burglar stole more than 100 bottles of liquor in five thefts, KC police say

Detectives believe the same man has broken into the same liquor store five times. They are seeking the public’s help to identify the thief and stop the crimes.

A brazen burglar has broken into the same Berbiglia store in Kansas City five times in recent weeks, stealing more than 100 bottles of liquor, police said Tuesday.

The burglar also stole cartons of cigarettes, and in the most recent smash-and-grab, a stream of scratch-off lottery tickets.

In each crime, the thief heaved a rock, cinder block or paving stone through the glass in the early morning hours. He then spent several minutes, at most, inside the store loading a gym bag with loot, including bottles of mostly cognac — Courvoisier, Remy Martin and Hennessy — but also Jack Daniel whiskey and various brands of vodka, police said.

“He just walks around like he doesn’t have a care in the world,” Sgt. Kevin Kilkenny said of the burglar, whose exploits were recorded on the store’s video surveillance system.

The first crime occurred just before 5 a.m. March 25 at the store at 4700 Virginia Ave. The thief pulled into the parking lot and waited 25 minutes before breaking in, according to the video surveillance.

The burglar pulled up the same vehicle at 5:30 a.m. the next morning and at 3:30 a.m. on Easter morning to steal from the store. Police later found the stolen silver sport-utility vehicle abandoned.

The burglar showed up on foot for the fourth heist, which occurred at 7:20 a.m. April 3, and the fifth, at 6 a.m. Monday. He also brought along a partner for the most recent theft, Kilkenny said.

Police released copies of the video Tuesday, hoping someone would recognize the thief or his distinctive jackets. He wore a blue hooded coat with the letter “M” inside a circle on his back in one of the early crimes. In the most recent crimes, he has worn a different hooded jacket, which appears to be dark gray and light gray with a white stripe across the back.

Anyone with information should call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (474-8477).

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