A man who media outlets describe as homeless allegedly stole a beer delivery truck that was parked outside a Santa Rosa, California, liquor store yesterday morning while the driver was inside the venue. The “half-dressed” suspect apparently led the police on a brief highway chase before he was apprehended, but not before he attempted to flee on foot after ditching the truck, ABC13 reported.
The police press release characterized the suspect as a transient male who was wearing nothing but American flag shorts. A customer entering the store alerted the driver shortly before noon that the suspect had allegedly climbed into the cab and took off in the vehicle, which fortunately for law enforcement officers (and presumably the liquor store owner, and perhaps its customers) was equipped with GPS technology.
Santa Rosa is located in the San Francisco Bay area.
Santa Rosa Police and Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies, including a K-9 unit, pursued the alleged beer bandit who was seen in the video below dodging cars as he attempted to cross the six lanes of Highway 101 in Santa Rosa on foot. The beer distribution company had tracked the abandoned truck to a nearby McDonald’s parking lot via GPS, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat explained.
Several passersby, and presumably other motorists, had called 911 to report that a man was trying to navigate the highway on foot.
Cops say that they caught the man wearing red, white, and blue shorts within 45 minutes, as he was hiding in some bushes.
The suspect was arrested and charged with possession of stolen property, resisting arrest, and violation of probation, and suspicion of vehicle theft, Fox News reported. Bail was set at $10,000. He also allegedly has priors for auto theft. The suspect, identified by authorities as Matt Lane Hermsmeyer, 46, was booked into the Sonoma County Jail.
The beer truck was carrying a load of Coors, according to the Daily Mail.
BEER BANDIT: Police say a man wearing only American flag shorts stole a Coors beer truck then ran on foot across Highway 101 in Santa Rosa, California. Our helicopter caught it on video: https://t.co/UujOP94jlT pic.twitter.com/uxTZZZghwq
— FOX 32 News (@fox32news) April 20, 2018
“SRPD would like to thank the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department and all the Santa Rosa citizens who called into dispatch to help apprehend Hermsmeyer for the stolen beer truck,” the press release concluded.
“He stole, he parked, he ran, he got arrested,” Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Jeneane Kucker added about the beer bust.
Further details are somewhat limited at this writing, particularly as to whether the delivery driver may have left the keys in the ignition, so please check back for updates on the alleged beer truck theft that perhaps gives a new meaning to “hold my beer.”
— KTVU (@KTVU) April 19, 2018