Editor’s note: Updated the second paragraph to match the print edition.
Walking across a “Let us help you make pour decisions” doormat, five individuals left The Fridge Wholesale Liquor with nearly $700 worth of alcohol in their possession, Garrett Dyson, marketing manager for The Fridge, said.
Kyle Hoopman, customer of The Fridge, said he was surprised to hear The Fridge was stolen from.
“I figured where it was located, they wouldn’t have an issue with theft, but it is a college town so booze is always on people’s minds,” Hoopman, senior in accounting, said.
Aaron Wintermote, Riley County Police Department public information officer, said RCPD wants to stress that this incident was a theft, not a robbery, because of the non-violent nature of the crime.
“A robbery would be if someone came in with a gun and threatened somebody,” Wintermote said. “A burglary would be if somebody broke in. This is a theft since it was from a business that was open. They didn’t break in and they weren’t armed and didn’t threaten anybody.”
Dyson said there were four female suspects and one male suspect.
“The driver came in first, then a couple minutes later two more people came in, then a couple minutes after that the last two came in,” Dyson said.
Dyson said the five suspects seemingly worked together to distract the cashier while they were stashing the liquor in their bags.
“There was one female at the counter checking out while the others grabbed the liquor,” Dyson said. “She was then asked to show her license, but could not provide that, so she was asked to leave.”
Hoopman said he believes that The Fridge will bounce back quickly despite the amount stolen.
“There was plenty of good liquor that could’ve made a profit, but thankfully they’re a business and should be able to make up for lost profit in no time,” Hoopman said.
Dyson said The Fridge is prepared to catch future offenders.
“It’s just that we have a lot of cameras,” Dyson said. “We even have a camera out front that can grab license plates.”
The photos of the five suspects can be found in the comments of their facebook post, Wintermote said.
Those with any information regarding this theft can call RCPD at 785-537-2112 or Manhattan Riley County Crime Stoppers at 785-539-7777.