Man locked in cooler overnight drinks beer, Four Lokos, leaves without paying

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Man Attempting to Steal Alcohol Locked in Cooler Overnight

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

When 38-year-old Jeremy Van Ert discovered that a Kwik Trip convenience store would not sell him alcohol, he decided to sneak into the beer cooler. His plan derailed when the cooler locked behind him, leaving him trapped. Van Ert decided to take advantage of the situation.

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The Marshfield, Wisconsin, man was discovered just after 6 a.m. on Wednesday when a customer saw him inside the cooler, WAOW reported. According to the police report, Van Ert decided to have an 18-ounce bottle of Icehouse beer and three cans of Four Loko. When the door was unlocked, he fled the scene but was later apprehended by police.

Van Ert told police that he entered the cooler around 11:50 p.m. and that he decided to stay in there. Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune reported that the store was open all night and if he had knocked on the door, employees likely would have heard him. The cooler automatically locks at midnight because it's illegal for stores to sell alcohol between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.

“This is unique. I've been here 20 years,” Marshfield Police Chief Rick Gramza told WAOW. “I’ve heard of people being locked inside of buildings, never inside of a beer cooler.”

Gramza said that Van Ert is on probation for a previous crime and one of the requirements of his probation was that he stay sober. The Daily Tribune reported he was issued a citation for retail theft.

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