Free booze for name of liquor thief

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Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013 5:24 pm | Updated: 6:03 pm, Fri Jun 21, 2013.

VENICE, Fla. - A Venice liquor store owner is fighting back against a shoplifter with expensive taste. He's advertising the man's photo and offering a prize to anyone who can name him.

$43 bottles of 120-proof Knob Creek single barrel whiskey has been flying off the top shelf. Problem is nobody has been paying for them. Owner of Brindley's liquors Bill Ahern says in the past few weeks upwards of 10 have have been swiped. "We knew we had a problem so we decided to point our cameras directly on this aisle."

It didn't take long. The eye in the sky doesn't lie. "Sure enough we saw the individual walk in and come to this isle. He put the two bottles down his pants and walk out the door."

Now Bill is playing the video of the booze bandit on a continuous loop above the counter for all to see. "He picks up a second bottle and almost drops it here."

Playing host he's running a "Name that thief" contest for a prize. "This person who has stolen may just become the most wanted man in Venice or wherever he is from. We have now the $100 bounty on his head."

Customers more like contestants are taking notice. "I'm taking a look to see if I recognize him." Many like Tiffany Tatch say it's the first time they've seen anything like it but. "I think more people should do it. I think locals will recognize. You can catch more people this way."

The man in the video wearing a Venice T-shirt appears to be in his 50's and is around 5'8' tall. "I've had a number of people say they recognize him from around town but do not know his name," says Ahern.

Bill says the cost to the family owned business gets pushed into prices for paying patrons so he's taking it personal. What he's not doing is taking it lying down. "I'm just not sitting back and letting this happen. I am being proactive in stopping this. Getting the word out that if you come in our store and you intend to steal we are going to get you one way or another."

As you might expect it's not just those who work here and now customers looking for the man. The Venice Police Department would like a word with him too. If you know who it is you are urged to give them a call.

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