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3 arrested as Atascadero police seize dozens of stolen liquor bottles in Hwy. 101 stop

Three people were arrested after allegedly going on a North County theft spree Thursday, stealing dozens of bottles of alcohol and energy shots from at least two businesses, police said.

According to an Atascadero Police Department news release, the Paso Robles Police Department notified the agency that three people associated with a red Mercedes had stolen alcohol from a business Thursday afternoon.

The Paso Robles Police Department believed the car was involved in other thefts within the city and requested other agencies be on the lookout for the vehicle, according to the release.

Soon after, the Atascadero Police Department said its dispatch center received a 911 call from Smart & Final on El Camino Real for a group of suspects who stole alcohol from the store and fled in a red vehicle.

Three people were arrested during a “high-risk traffic stop” on Highway 101 after they allegedly stole alcohol and energy shots from at least two businesses in North County on Feb. 22, 2024. 
Three people were arrested during a “high-risk traffic stop” on Highway 101 after they allegedly stole alcohol and energy shots from at least two businesses in North County on Feb. 22, 2024.

A patrol unit in the area immediately located the Mercedes, and police closed a portion of northbound Highway 101 near the San Anselmo on-ramp to conduct a “high-risk traffic stop,” according to the release. The car’s three occupants were detained at the scene while officers investigated the theft at Smart & Final.

“The suspects were positively identified by store employees, and a large amount of alcohol was recovered from the vehicle,” the release said.

A photo from the Atascadero Police Department showed four buckets filled with dozens of liquor bottles and mini energy shots that were recovered during the arrest.

Paso Robles officers responded to the scene and placed the three people under arrest, according to the release. The Atascadero Police Department said it plans to file additional charges with the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office once its investigation is complete.