Police set eye on Red Bull thefts

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Red Bull has become a target among thieves who can turn the relatively high-priced energy drinks around for a quick profit — prompting police in Burbank and Glendale to keep an eye on the resale market for the stolen goods.

Two men were arrested Wednesday after selling several stolen cases of the energy drink to small, independent stores that buy the discounted beverages and profit from sales, police said.

During an undercover Glendale police operation, detectives followed Jelbert Davoode, 29, and Jozef Allahyarian, 43, as they visited four small convenience stores in Glendale and Burbank to sell stolen cases of Red Bull at a discounted rate, Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

Davoode allegedly stole the 24-pack cases — which can go for up to $50 — from big-chain supermarkets, including Ralphs, Jon’s Marketplace and Smart & Final to resell the drinks for $18 to $25 per container, Lorenz said. The pair were arrested on suspicion of theft-related crimes.

“It has just become known about the thefts of Red Bulls,” Lorenz said.

For the retail chains, the thefts can add up. Smart & Final representatives told Glendale police that a spike of Red Bull thefts in the past few months had cost the business more than $10,000, Lorenz said.

Calls to Smart & Final headquarters were not returned Thursday.

Store owners who bought the stolen Red Bull were cooperating with detectives, Lorenz said.

Police also arrested Sevan Kamali, 22, of Glendale on Tuesday on suspicion of stealing cases of Red Bull, Lorenz said. He was also arrested for allegedly possessing heroin.

“We found that some of these people are addicted to drugs,” Lorenz said, adding that they use the Red Bull proceeds to fund their drug habits.

Red Bull thefts have also occurred in Santa Clarita, Pasadena and Burbank.

The last reported theft of Red Bull in Burbank was in November, when a group of thieves went to various stores and stole the drinks alongside baby diapers, Burbank Police Sgt. Robert Quesada said.

The group then resold the diapers and energy drinks to small-store owners, he said.

Glendale police are still looking for a man who stole three cases of Red Bull at 9 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Smart & Final store in the 1800 block of West Glenoaks Boulevard.

He was described as 5 foot 6 inches tall, 180 pounds, with a stocky build and in his 20s. He was wearing a brown sweat suit, beanie cap and glasses.

Anyone with information on the thefts is encouraged to call Glendale Police Det. Scott Byrne at (818) 548-2097.