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Man attempts to steal liquor bottle

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By Sarah von Sternberg

A 21-year-old man from Santa Fe, Lance Pena, was arrested for attempting to shoplift a $9.65 bottle of vodka from Smith’s on Aug. 29.

Around 10 a.m. that day, Los Alamos Police Department Cpl. Leandro Gallegos was dispatched to Smith’s for a suspected shoplifting incident.

Gallegos met with the Loss Prevention Officer, Melissa Chamberlin, and the offender, Pena. Next to Pena, there was a plastic bottle of Premier Vodka on Chamberlin’s desk.

Chamberlin stated that Pena took the bottle off the shelf while inside Smith’s and concealed it inside his pants.\

According to the incident report, Pena then walked around the store before walking past all points of sale without attempting to pay for the liquor.

“Lance admitted that he tried to steal the bottle of Premier Vodka,” said Gallegos in his report. Apparently, Pena thought if he were cooperative with law enforcement and the loss prevention department, he would simply be charged with trespassing and let go.

That was not the case, however, and Gallegos promptly arrested Pena for shoplifting. After conducting a search of Lance, it was found that he did not have any cash or cards on his person to pay for anything from Smith’s.

As evidence, Chamberlin provided video footage of loss prevention confronting Pena and the offender pulling a bottle from his pants.

Pena was trespassed from Smith’s at the request of Chamberlin and he was served a copy of the trespass warning. In addition, Pena was charged with shoplifting an amount under $500.