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UPDATE: Police Nab QFC Liquor Thieves After Getaway Car Crashes on North Mercer Way

Mercer Island Police report two brazen theives were arrested early Monday morning after stealing over $2,000 in liquor from the North-end QFC. Police arrested one of the men when he returned to the store to use his phone.

Update, 4 p.m. Tuesday: MIPD Cmdr Leslie Burns confirms the total value of liquor stolen from the QFC amounts to over $2,000. The two men arrested on suspicion of stealing the goods will likely be each charged with second-degree theft, said Burns. Theft in the second degree is a class C felony in Washington state.

Update, 10:30 a.m. Tuesday: Mercer Island Police are correcting intial reports that a large quantity of top-shelf liquor was stolen yesterday from Mercer Island's North-end QFC, and not wine as initially reported.

A photo shared with Mercer Island Patch (and attached to the right of this story) indicates the thieves had stolen two dozen bottles of high-end Canadian and scotch whisky, including Crown Royal, Chivas Regal and several single malts.

Another 18 large, 1.75 liter bottles of Jim Beam Bourbon whisky and a dozen more bottles of vodka and assorted spirits were among the stolen goods recovered by the MIPD. A search of the suspects also yielded a plastic bag filled with marijuana and a pipe.

Local grocery stores following the passage of Initiative 1183 to deregulate liquor sales, which of Mercer Island's sole . Police have responded to several shoplifting incidents in the past month involving the or wine from local supermarkets, and have .

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Original Story: Two men were arrested early Monday morning on suspicion of stealing 20 bottles of wine from the after leading police on a brief vehicle pursuit through Town Center and North Mercer Way.

QFC store security told that two men had shoplifted the wine, valued at approximately $900, from the store at approximately 12:30 a.m. and took off with the alcohol in a vehicle. MIPD Patrol Officer Robb Kramp located the vehicle immediately and attempted to stop the car and occupants.

Police say at first appeared the driver was going to cooperate and stop the vehicle, as it came to an almost complete stop, but it then picked up speed and failed to stop for the officer. The driver stopped for a stop sign and then accelerated away from the stop and almost immediately collided with a tree in the 7600 block of North Mercer Way.

Both occupants, a 23-year-old man from Maple Valley and a 20-year-old man from Seattle, exited the vehicle and took off running. One suspect was apprehended with the assistance of the King County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit.

The second suspect was outstanding until approximately 5:30am, when he returned to the QFC to use the phone. QFC employees recognized the suspect and called police, who took him into custody on the sidewalk outside of QFC.

A KIRO 7 TV reporter was on the scene at the time and also noticed the suspect as he returned to the store and called 911. The news crew later took several photos of the arrest, which can be found here.

Both suspects were booked into the King County Jail.

(Ed. Note: The headline of this story was modified based on new information provided by the MIPD.)

Kendall Watson July 10, 2012 at 05:08 PM
This story has been updated with photos from the MIPD. Thanks Cmdr. Burns for sharing your photos with us!

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