Is there a circumstance when it’s okay to steal beer?

There comes a moment in everyone’s life where we have to make a decision between pleasure and pain, between comfort and discomfort, and between making the most of a bad situation or miserably doing nothing.

Perhaps this kind of decision-making process played a role in a Wisconsin man’s alleged choice after he got locked in a beer cooler overnight at a Marshfield convenience store.

Is there a circumstance when it’s okay to steal beer?

Stealing beer is a crime, usually, but what if you were shopping at a local convenience store and the employees inadvertently locked you in the beer cooler overnight? Sitting there in the cold, wondering if you would even survive the evening, what kind of moral code would you follow?

In one man’s case, he allegedly decided to drink the beer, and now he’s facing criminal charges. According to the USA Today Network, a 38-year-old man was shopping in a Kwik Trip just before 12 p.m., when, to his surprise, he found himself locked in the drink cooler. After he realized he couldn’t get out, police claim he decided that he might as well enjoy some of the unlimited alcoholic beverages available to him — or at least try to get buzzed to the point of not registering the frigid, and possibly life-threatening, temperatures as much as if he had to stay sober!

Police say that the man fled the scene after morning workers arrived

Soon after the Kwik Trip opened at 6 a.m. the next morning, a customer reported to the staff that a man was inside the cooler, the new report states. Employees opened the fridge and they claim that the man ran away. Store employees say they called the police, who captured the man and cited him with retail theft. According to police, the man should have knocked on the glass door of the cooler and employees could have let him out.

Perhaps police believed that the man allowed himself to be locked inside on purpose — just for the free booze. Authorities claim the man only drank a beer and three malt beverages.

Will the man be convicted and punished for his alleged crime?

This case is an excellent example of the numerous off-the-wall scenarios that police encounter on a daily basis. Sometimes, authorities decide to play it safe. They arrest and charge the person for whatever crime it appears that the individual committed — regardless of how bizarre the circumstances — with the intention of letting the courts decide what to do with the individual.

In many cases, people accused of crimes in unusual circumstances may be able to argue their way out of the charges in court through a well-planned and strategic criminal defense.


Have you been charged with a crime? See our Criminal Defense service page for help now.

Have you been charged with a crime? Contact Levine Law.

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