Man Stole $90 Worth of Energy Drinks, Police Say
Easton man accused of stealing 5 six-packs of 5-Hour Energy from Bethlehem store.
A man with an apparent fondness for 25-year-old cars and 5-Hour Energy drink tried to steal five 6-packs of the liquid pick-me-up Thursday morning from a Bethlehem CVS before the pharmacy manager stopped him.
The suspect, Christopher Jose Franco, 31, of Easton dropped four of the five 6-packs before leaving. When police later stopped his car – a silver 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass sedan – he admitted to the theft, court records say.
Employees of the CVS at 327 Woodlawn Ave., just northeast of Liberty High School, said Franco entered the store around 9:40am and headed for Aisle 9, where he took the five 6-packs of the energy drink, city Officer William Rodriguez writes in a criminal complaint.
The man had selected three different kinds – two “extra strength,” two “berry” and one “extra strength grape.” The five packs were worth a total of $85.95.
The pharmacy manager and a store employee described Franco as dressed mostly in black and sporting a “scruffy beard.”
The manager said Franco was concealing the packs inside his jacket as he tried to leave. The manager stopped him at the front door and said he needed to pay for the items.
Franco dropped four of the five packs and left. The manager said three of the four packs had the security strips ripped off. In fact, the manager said he saw Franco ripping off the strips while the suspect was in Aisle 9.
The manager explained that packs without the security strips cannot be placed back on the shelf for sale.
Meanwhile, the employee said the suspect left in what he described as a “grayish” Mercury Monarch or a similar sedan. The employee had called in the license plate number to Bethlehem 911.
Armed with the car’s description and license plate number, other officers stopped the Cutlass at Center and E. Goepp streets – not far southwest of Liberty High. After waiving his Miranda rights, Franco admitted to the theft, the complaint says.
Franco, of 177 Lachenour St. on Easton’s south side, was charged with two counts of retail theft. They were classified as level-three felonies because the suspect had pleaded guilty to two prior retail thefts, the complaint says.
He was arraigned Thursday afternoon by on-duty District Judge Robert Hawke of Lehigh Township and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $20,000 bail.