Bend Police are advising area liquor stores and retailers to check their security footage after arresting a man who allegedly stole nearly five dozen bottles of alcohol from area businesses.
Police say the investigation started Sept. 4 when officers responded to a shoptlifing report at the Wagner Mall Liquor Beer & Wine shop on NE 3rd Street. The owner had reported that a $500 bottle of tequila was missing from the shelf. A review of security footage found a man had stuffed three bottles of tequila in his pants before buying a $10 bottle of vodka. The loss to the store was about $680.
Bend Police say the suspect was identified as Benjamin Brambila, 56, of Bend.
Officers contacted Brambila on Saturday, police said. A search of his vehicle allegedly revealed five bottles of alcohol. Several cases of wine and liquor were also allegedly found at his home.
In total, 57 bottles that retail for an estimated $1,850 were allegedly found in Brambila’s possession. They were placed into evidence. The three tequila bottles that launched the investigation were not found.
Police said that Brambila stated he gives away the bottles to friends or in exchange for services.
Retailers were advised to check their surveillance footage to see if Brambila had stolen anything, police said. Any stores who think they were victimized are asked to call nonemergency dispatch at 541-693-6911 and reference case no. 2023-00054560.
Police say Brambila was arrested on a charge of second-degree theft for shoplifting, but other charges could be added.