• Man has good taste in wine, poor judgment in stealing
A 41-year-old man from Canada was charged with four counts of theft for allegedly taking five bottles of wine valued at over $1,700 from the Grog Shop on Aug. 30.
Eric Laurence, from Montreal, Quebec was arrested and charged with the theft, involving 2005 Guigal La Turque wine valued at $536.43. Charging documents also say he made off with a 2003 Pichon-Longueville valued at $267.68, a 2005 Guigal La Mouline and a 2008 Opus One at a combined value to $776.49. He also is accused of taking a 2006 Guigal La Landonne valued at $428.93.
Homer police were called to the Grog Shop just after noon on Aug. 30 by the store’s owner reporting the theft being recorded on his video surveillance system. Cameras showed a man with shoulder length brown hair taking a $536.43 bottle of wine.
“The man can be seen replacing a bottle of much cheaper wine in the expensive wine slot,” Officer Jacob Ruebelmann wrote in his report. “The same man was seen taking all of the missing bottles of wine, all of which were captured on the Grog Shop surveillance video.”
Videos showed three different occasions of theft starting on Aug. 18, again on Aug. 20 and on Aug. 24.
A Grog Shop employee spotted the man back in the shop on Aug. 31, this time buying beer which he took across the street. Police were able to locate Laurence. Laurence declined to speak with the police about the thefts. He was arrested for two counts of second-degree theft and two counts of third-degree theft.
The suspect reported he had not been planning on staying in Alaska much longer, but was intending to return to Quebec.
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