2 Forest Lake liquor store robbers hide bottles in pants - KMSP-TV

WANTED: 2 liquor store robbers hiding bottles in pants

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FOREST LAKE, Minn. (KMSP) -

Liquor store after liquor store in the Forest Lake area are being robbed by the same two men who swipe a few big-ticket bottles at the time, and police are hoping surveillance footage will help find them.

Before this story aired, a liquor store owner let Fox 9's Maury Glover know that the pair was back in his store again on Wednesday night. Investigators say the duo are taking high-end bottles of alcohol, like Hennessy, Grey Goose and Remy Martin -- and they swipe them from unsuspecting liquor stores one leg at a time.

At the Stone Cellar, owner Peter Marschinke offers a wide variety of top-shelf products -- but spirits aren't the only things being lifted there.

"Remy Martin -- one of the bottles they ended up taking," he said.

Early last month, two men walked in wearing baggy pants and asked the cashier a question that sent her to the back room. While she was away, one of the men grabbed an expensive bottle of Cognac and dropped it down his pant leg in the blink of an eye. Then, he did it again.

"I don't know how he got them in his pants, but he got two of them from us," Marschinke said.

The two sauntered out of the store, and police say it wasn't their first time. Just a few minutes earlier, the two men had done the same thing at another liquor store. Surveillance footage shows one grab two bottles. One goes into his pants and the other goes back on the shelf. He even dropped a bottle of tequila -- in a box -- into his pants on the way out.

Marschinke told Fox 9 News the two hit nearly all 10 liquor stores in Forest Lake that same night.

"It's pretty unusual," Sgt. Mark Richart said. "They hit so many stores in one community in the same time period, and one of the issues we had was employees thought something was missing but didn't know for sure until they checked the inventory the next day."

Ironically, one of the shoplifters was nearly caught with his pants down at the Stone Cellar.

"From what I understand, the cashier said his pants actually fell down at the register so he ended up having to pull them up," Marshincke explained.

The cashier didn't spy any of the stolen goods at the time, but Marschinke hopes police will get a leg up on the pair before they strike again. So far, Forest Lake Police say they have received only 3 reports about the thefts, but a half a dozen stores that spoke with Fox 9 News confirmed they were either hit that night or have been since. Anyone who recognizes the two men seen in the video is urged to call Forest Lake Police at 651-464-5877.

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