Man Stole $2,700 In Meat: Beef Bandit Arrested For Safeway Thefts

Portland beef theft

A man allegedly stole $2,700 in meat products from Portland supermarkets last month and was arrested after police obtained compelling footage of the beef thefts.

According to a KOIN6 news report, Barry Trenell Sanders, 53, was taken into custody after a joint investigation with Portland police and Safeway Loss Prevention staff. The investigation spanned from July 22 to August 8.

Four days later, Sanders was arrested for a probation violation and formally charged at the Multnomah County Circuit Court in connection with the meat thefts. Altogether, police say the man stole $2,690.09 in beef from three different Safeway supermarket locations: North Ivanhoe, Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Northeast Broadway.

Workers at the supermarkets became suspicious last month when a number of them noticed stock levels on their meat shelves decreased, but sales didn’t account for the missing items. Soon thereafter, they turned to surveillance cameras and began to see a pattern: the man who $2,700 worth of meat was observed loading it in his shopping cart and departing without paying on every occasion.

All three locations compared footage from their respective stores of the alleged shoplifting suspect. They concluded that the man suspected in each theft was the same person.

Typically, when the words “beef” and ‘supermarket” are mentioned in the same headline, it involves a meat recall. It’s not often that news surfaces of a suspect involved in pilfering large amounts of retail meat products.

As part of the investigation, police are likely curious about a motive in the man’s $2,700 meat theft. Some have speculated that Sanders was stocking up for the winter while others say the suspect could be part of a larger underground meat ring. Still, others used this strange news story as fodder and suggested the Portland man was clearly not a vegetarian.

While this incident took place in a retail outlet, there is growing evidence that farmers are also being victimized of their livestock, likely to be sold on the black market at a later time.

Minnesota authorities have fielded a number of complaints from residents who are constantly battling pig bandits. In one such report, police in Nicollet County investigated the thefts of 590 swines that were estimated to be worth $100,000, collectively. And based on reports, the hog thefts have prompted farmers to shore up their security measures.

It’s unknown if the man suspected of stealing $2,700 in meat from Safeway has posted bail. However, court documents, which say Sanders is definitely the man seen in surveillance footage, is due back in court on August 27.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]