MURRIETA – A probationer suspected of pilfering several bottles of vodka and champagne from a Ralph’s grocery store in Murrieta was tied to the thefts of more than $20,000 worth of alcohol-related products during the past year, a spokesman said today, Sat., May 3.
Police were dispatched at about 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 2, to the 23800 block of Washington Avenue and caught the suspect entering his vehicle as they pulled up.
The bottles. worth $132, were recovered, but officers found an additional $1,200 worth of alcohol products previously stolen from Ralph’s grocery stores when they searched the trunk, Murrieta police Sgt. Scott Montez said.
Officers confirmed the alcohol was stolen from Ralph’s through the UPC bar code labels, the sergeant said.
The suspect, Dominque Clayton, 22, of Riverside, was linked to the thefts of more than $20,000 of liquor thefts from Ralph’s stores in four Southern California counties during the past five months. Clayton admitted to alcohol thefts during the past three years, but it was unclear what other businesses he alleged stole from, Montez said.
Police suspect Clayton was selling the liquor to a barber in Rialto.
Clayton, unemployed and on probation for burglary in Los Angeles, was arrested for suspicion of burglary and possession of burglary tools, Montez said.