Meat stolen from grocery stores and traded for drugs

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

A number of recent thefts have local grocery stores guarding their meat counters. As strange as it might seem, police said those cuts are being swiped and sold for drugs.

"It's the high-end steaks," said Michael Allen, Assistant Manager of Save-A-Lot in Corbin.

Those prime cuts come at a premium.

"Simply sticking it in their pocket, sewing plastic bags in their purses and trying to pack it all in their purses," said Allen.

Allen said it is not "rare" for grocery stores to deal with meat thieves. But the heist is happening more and more.

"A lot of times, they'll go from grocery store to grocery store and keep stealing," said Allen.

The Williamsburg IGA has been the target of a number of meat thefts, and authorities prosecuted those crimes.

The Williamsburg Police Chief said cases of meat theft are quite common. They've worked a number of cases at the Williamsburg Wal-Mart that have turned violent.

Police believe the stolen meat is used to buy drugs.

"They will steal anything and trade it for drugs," said Connie Smith, of Knox County.

"It just shows the desperate times these people have. They're willing to do anything for their next drug," said Allen.

Allen said employees watch the meat counter to make sure people put items inside their carts.

"It's an odd problem. They don't steal anything just the high price cuts of meat. They don't steal burgers," said Allen.

A pesky problem that has him asking where's the beef - more often than he'd like to.

Allen said all other grocery stores in the area are dealing with this problem.

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