The phrase "beer run" refers to stealing beer from convenience stores, sometimes using intimidation, and taking off.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Beer runs have changed in recent years.
The term used to be used to describe a trip made to the store when beverages were running low at a party.
Now, the phrase refers to stealing beer from convenience stores, sometimes using intimidation, and taking off.
Beer runs across the Valley are running up the tab on taxpayers.
That's why Al DePascal of Maryvale is taking a stand. "It creates a lot of havoc in our community," he said.
"I tried to stop a beer run, and I got beat down with two guys," said DePascal.
That beer run happened at a Circle K and since then, he's taken a closer look at the convenience store chain.
DePascal pointed to a recent report by ASU's Dr. Charles Katz, which reveals when compared to other convenience stores, Circle K's were disproportionately responsible for crime and disorder, regardless of their neighborhood or city.
DePascal also received some startling beer run numbers from Phoenix police about his own neighborhood.
He said, "in 15 stores in the Maryvale area, there were more than 2,100 beer runs in one year in 2011," showing the statistics from Phoenix police.
At $115 a pop for each call for service on a beer run, everyone is feeling the pinch.
"That brought a tune of $250,000 to the taxpayers, just babysitting Circle K for their beer losses," said DePascal.
Sgt. Darren Burch of the Phoenix Police Department's Silent Witness program said beer runs at Circle Ks happen nearly every day, and the problem is two-fold.
"Not just the cost that is attributed to these types of crimes, but also the potential of violence," he explained.
In 2010, Lance Taylor was shot and killed after he stopped a beer thief at a Circle K in Maryvale.
"They're gonna get more bold, more brazen and more violent," Burch said.
That's why last year, Circle K launched a Crime Busters Facebook page, and they've partnered with Silent Witness, to help catch the beer-stealing crooks.
"Circle K has state-of-the-art equipment. More and more of these suspects are being caught because of the videos," said Sgt. Burch.
But DePascal believes cameras and after-the-fact arrests are not enough. He wants to see security in all high-volume stores to help stop the violence.
"A death in our community. That's a price that you can't bring back," said the Maryvale activist.
DePascal and his community group have been calling for a meeting with Circle K to discuss their security concerns.
CBS 5 News reached out to Circle K's regional Loss Prevention representative in Tucson this afternoon, and expect to hear back from him soon.
Copyright 2012 KPHO CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All Rights Reserved.
Thursday, May 23 2013 12:39 PM EDT2013-05-23 16:39:28 GMT
Dan Marco's son was murdered in 2010. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Only people who have lost a close loved one can understand the pain of Travis Alexander's family"My heart goes out to them, because I understand," says Dan Marco, who's son Zachary was murdered in 2010.ZacharyMore >
Only people who have lost a close loved one can understand the pain of Travis Alexander's family.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 8:00 AM EDT2013-05-23 12:00:17 GMT
A former flight instructor who taught foreign flight students at one of the Valley's pilot schools told CBS 5 Investigates the students often could barely speak English. "I'd say at least 50 percent ofMore >
A former flight instructor who taught foreign flight students at one of the Valley's pilot schools told CBS 5 Investigates the students often could barely speak English.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 5:06 PM EDT2013-05-22 21:06:54 GMT
A Williams man is in custody in connection with the fatal shooting of an Ashfork teenager, northern Arizona authorities said. John A. Willis, 53, was taken into custody Tuesday, said Coconino County sheriff'sMore >
John A. Willis, 53, was taken into custody Tuesday, said Coconino County sheriff's spokesman Lt. Tim Cornelius.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:38 PM EDT2013-05-23 01:38:14 GMT
MOORE, OK - The trembling, mud-spattered dog whose photo went viral on Tuesday was not actually standing watch over her owner's body - her name is Susie, her owner is named Curtis Collins, and he's alive.ThanksMore >
There's a happy ending to the story of the little dog who was found standing guard over a body after the EF-5 tornado that decimated her neighborhood in Moore, OK. Her owner is alive, and they have been reunited thanks to the viral photo. More >