Family of Circle K Beer Thieves Busted by Tempe Police; Traded Stolen Beer for Meth, Cops Say
|Tempe Police Department|
|Antonio Tavena faces 45 felony charges for his role in the thefts.|
The alleged thieves, Antonio Coronado Tavena, 34, Elizabeth Tavena, 30, Manuel Tavena, 23, Isabel Nunez, 30, and Jessica Coronado, 24, are all either cousins or siblings, and police say they're responsible for 23 beer thefts in a little over a month.
From April 8, to May 8, police say, the family stole about $7,000 worth of 30-packs of beer from Tempe Circle Ks.
The thefts weren't exactly sophisticated, either.
Steve Carbajal, a sergeant in the Tempe Police Department, tells New Times the suspects would basically just walk into a store, grab a few 30-packs, and walk out the door.
"They were pretty brazen," Carbajal says.
According to police, the suspects admitted they would sell the beer, or, in some cases, trade it for crystal meth.
Carbajal says no force was used in the thefts.
Because the thefts were organized -- that is, as organized as simply swiping 30-packs of beer from a convenience store can possibly be -- the charges against the suspects are more serious than standard theft.
Together, the suspects face 93 felony charges for their involvement in an "organized retail theft ring."