Local

"Red Bull Bandit" steals $800 worth from Fresno store

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Police say the suspect caught on surveillance tape is responsible for at least two thefts in southeast Fresno and could be linked to several others in the Central Valley.

Investigators say he's gotten away with it because he walks, talks, and dresses like a legitimate sales rep.

An AM/PM in southeast Fresno fell victim to the Red Bull Bandit on March 1.

The store's surveillance video shows the suspect  42-year-old Charles Burkhalter stacking cases of Red Bull behind a sun glass rack.

In this camera angle Burkhalter is out of the picture to the right. But you can hear the suspect telling the clerks the Red Bull is expired.

"Suspect: We have a promo going on right now.... and I'm here to make sure everything's up to date.... and see if anything needs to be changed out."

Moments later he tells the clerk's he'll be right back.

He returns with a dolly -- picks up seven cases of Red Bull and pushes it out the door and never returns.

"Just a couple hundred dollars in that one load right there."

Seargent Mark Hudson of the Fresno Police Department has been trying to track down Burkhalter for the past few months.

He says the suspect also hit the Lucky mini-mart one mile down the street on February 2.

Store clerk Paul Sidhu got duped out of $600 worth of Red Bull.

"Paul Sidhu: He went back to his truck. And he never came back with the Red Bull product.

Reporter: And what did you think at that point?

Paul Sidhu: I called my boss and go hey boss this guy from Red Bull just came in and he never came back with the product."

Sidhu says the suspect even tried do the same thing two weeks later.

This time the store clerk says he was ready to catch Burkhalter in the act.

"He says I have about eight expired cases here. I go hey why don't you go back when the boss is here because I was trying to do anything I can stall this guy till my boss got here so he catch this guy. But my boss got here too late. And then he just took off and left and I haven't seem him since." Sidhu said.

Investigators says Burkhalter is likely trying to sell the Red Bull on Ebay or Craigslist for a profit.

If you have see the Red Bull Bandit or have any information on the suspect -- call Fresno Police.

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Tags:
crimetracker, fresno southeast, fresno county, fresno, scams, fresno police department, local, tommy tran
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