SONOMA COUNTY (KRON) — Sunday the Sonoma Police Department arrested two Sacramento residents on suspicion of stealing 85 bottles of liquor in the North Bay.
The bottles stolen from four separate Safeway locations are worth nearly $6,000, officers said.
Loss prevention officers from a Novato Safeway followed the suspects, a man and a woman, in their car to Sonoma Sunday evening, Sonoma Police Chief Bret Sackett said.
The officers continued to follow the man when he entered a Sonoma Safeway.
He allegedly stuffed multiple bottles of alcohol into a backpack while the woman waited outside in the car, according to Sackett.
The man left without paying for the liquor and the couple drove away. They were followed by the loss prevention employees, who called Sonoma police around 6:30 p.m., Sackett said.
When Sonoma police deputies stopped the car on Napa Road in east Napa, the suspects admitted they were in the Safeway, and a deputy saw the backpack on the floor of the car, Sackett said.
The deputy also smelled a strong odor of alcohol from a bottle that broke and leaked inside the backpack and on the male suspect’s pants, Sackett said.
Deputies found 15 bottles of liquor in the backpack and 70 bottles of high-end liquor, some with electronic sensors still attached, in the trunk of the car, Sackett said.
The liquor stolen from the Sonoma Safeway was worth $1,300. Liquor also was stolen from Safeway stores in Windsor and Petaluma, but 57 bottles could not be linked to a specific Safeway store, Sackett said.
The total loss was $6,000 Sackett said.
Police arrested Matthew Robert Moore, 28, and Frankie D. Nicholls, 24, both of Sacramento.
They were booked in the Sonoma County Jail for burglary, possession of stolen property and conspiracy. Moore also was booked for violating his Post Release Community Supervision.
Sackett said the Safeway loss prevention officers were instrumental in solving the crime.