St. Petersburg Teens Accused of Multi-State Liquor Store Theft Spree

A group of four teenage girls from St. Petersburg has been implicated in a string of thefts targeting liquor stores across the state of Florida. The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) reported that the girls, aged 15 to 17, were apprehended in Port Charlotte after allegedly stealing from Publix liquor stores in Venice and North Port.

The series of thefts prompted law enforcement agencies to collaborate closely, with North Port police alerting CCSO to the suspects’ whereabouts as they traveled on the interstate. Deputies from CCSO awaited the girls’ arrival at a Publix store in Port Charlotte, suspecting it would be their next target.

As the girls entered the store, deputies observed them carrying large purses, suspected to be used for concealing stolen alcohol. While two of the teenagers complied with deputies’ instructions, the other two attempted to flee. One was discovered hiding in bushes on a median, highlighting the determined efforts of law enforcement to apprehend the suspects.

Sheriff Bill Prummell emphasized the importance of intelligence-led policing and collaborative efforts between law enforcement agencies in addressing organized crime. The coordinated response led to the recovery of over 50 liquor bottles from the girls’ vehicle, with subsequent confessions linking them to numerous thefts spanning 16 different jurisdictions since December 2023.

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The teenagers now face charges related to the 19 thefts they are accused of committing, with a court date set for April 2nd. The case serves as a reminder of the impact of organized retail theft and the vigilance required to combat such criminal activities. As authorities continue their investigation, communities remain vigilant in safeguarding against similar incidents in the future.

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