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June 18th, 2008
Police put squeeze on teen after orange juice theft

Managing Editor

A 17-year-old man faces multiple charges, including felony robbery, for trying to steal a bottle of orange juice from a convenience store, police say.

Albert Luera Jr. was arrested on Saturday after officers used a Taser to end a foot chase through Sewell Park, Sgt. Fred Wisener said. Luera is charged with robbery, possession of a controlled substance, failure to identify, evading arrest, resisting arrest and for an outstanding warrant.

Luera allegedly walked out of the Korner Food Store, 705 Aquarena Springs Dr., without paying for the juice and was confronted outside by the store’s owner. Luera punched the man in the face, which elevates what would have been a misdemeanor theft charge into robbery, Wisener said.

“Anytime someone is injured in the course of a theft, it is considered robbery under the law. It was a really stupid thing to do, especially for a bottle of orange juice,” Wisener said.

Held down by a store employee until a passing officer was flagged down, Luera took off running across Aquarena Springs Drive after being let off the ground to speak to officers. Officers found Xanax on Luera after he was arrested, Wisener said. Officers Rich Mizanin, Kye Kennedy, Paul Stevens and Garner Ames responded to the scene.

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