ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) – Police in southeastern New Mexico are warning business owners of a very sneaky crook.
They say he’s going into stores posing as a Coca-Cola employee and stealing vending machines.
Alamogordo police say the suspect, described as a Hispanic male in his mid-30s, went to Lowe’s Grocery’s shipment area around 7 a.m. Saturday and stole nearly $2,000 worth of Coke products.
“I believe this guy tried to just blend in with the group of contractors going in and out of the business in the morning,” said Alamogordo Police Sgt. Mark Esquero.
Lowe’s Grocery in Alamogordo isn’t the only victim.
Carlsbad police say a similar incident happened at one of their local stores in December.
Investigators in that case say a man portraying himself as a Coke worker went to Linda’s Restaurant around 10 a.m Dec. 16 and stole the business’s soda refrigerator display.
The soda and the refrigerator combined were about $3,000.
“People work hard for what they do and for people to take other people’s property is kind of disheartening,” said Esquero.
Coke officials would not speak with KRQE News 13 about the incident, but a worker did say any employee picking items up from a store should have a pick-up and release form.
They should also be wearing a button-up shirt with a Coke logo on the left side.
Alamogordo police say the suspect at Lowe’s was wearing a Coke T-shirt and a ball cap.
Lowe’s Grocery would not say if they ever received any paperwork from the suspect or how the thief got into their shipment area.
Alamogordo say they’re working with Carlsbad police to see if the two cases are connected.