Trail of Beer Cans Leads Police To Suspected Burglars

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

PITTSTON – The owner of a beer distributor on Kennedy Boulevard said surveillance video and a trail of Bud Light cans led police to a pair of suspected burglars in Luzerne County.

Vic Patel showed Newswatch 16 video that was recorded early Tuesday morning, showing the break-in at Patel’s Beverage.

According to Patel, the crooks smashed the front glass door, stole two 30-packs of Bud Light and an SPCA donation jar, then ran down a hill behind the business and left a trail of beer cans behind.

“The two cases on the railroad, still a couple cans over there, so they got the evidence and everything,” said Patel.

According to court papers, Pittston police found Thomas Gale and John Patte with the stolen beer alongside train tracks near the business.

When police put Patte and Gale into police cruisers and returned to the tracks to collect the evidence, court documents said many of the beer cans were missing.

The criminal complaint said officers found Cody Nelson nearby, and he later admitted to stealing the abandoned beer cans.

Police arrested all three men for burglary and other charges.

People shopping near the beer distributor said they were surprised to hear that adults were accused of causing more than $400 in damage for $50 worth of beer.

“Very dumb and unnecessary,” said Connie Piorkowski. “It was terrible, the amount of money, the damage that was done, for just a few liquid beverages.”