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Parolee tries to steal brandy, rum from liquor store, police say

Published On: Mar 08 2013 02:28:31 PM EST

A man on parole is in trouble with the law again after trying to shoplift bottles of brandy and rum from a state store, officials said.

Gabriel E. Perez-Valentin fled from the state store at 1844 Stefko Boulevard, Bethlehem, at 3:35 p.m. Wednesday, leaving behind a $59.99 bottle of Courvoisier brandy and a $27.99 bottle of Captain Morgan Rum he intended to steal, officials said.

An employee told police he heard a bottle hit the floor at the rear of the store soon after Perez-Valentin had come in wearing a large puffy coat and taken the Courvoisier off the shelf, officials said.


The employee found Perez-Valentin with bottles of Courvoisier and Captain Morgan, and when he told Perez-Valentin he would have to talk to the police, he fled, officials said.

Perez-Valentin was spotted later in the day in the parking lot of the shopping center where the liquor store is located, and police took him into custody inside a Metro PCS cell phone store, officials said, adding that a state store employee identified him as the shoplifter.

Several packs of gum and chocolate fell out of Perez-Valentin's coat during the arrest, and officers found four eight-ounce cans of Red Bull, eight packs of Lindt roasted almond chocolate bars, and six packs of Wrigley's 5 sugar-free gum when they searched his coat further, officials said.

While checking Perez-Valentin's criminal history, police found he had four prior retail theft convictions and an outstanding parole warrant out of Allentown, officials said.

Perez-Valentin, 25, of 610 Hamilton St., Allentown, was arraigned on a retail theft charge and committed to the Northampton County Prison on $25,000 bail, according to court documents.

A preliminary hearing is set for 1 p.m. March 18.