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7-11 beer runs and now Blind Lady's fermenter tank

Empire Thrift in El Cajon tries to give it back to BLAH

"I thanked him for helping out a fellow small business."
"I thanked him for helping out a fellow small business."

On July 22, the Blind Lady Ale House, referred to as BLAH in the Normal Heights neighborhood, recovered its stolen fermenter tank. It's worth $5,000 and is a large piece of steel equipment used to make BLAH's special batches of beer.

Video tape of theft

The industrial-sized fermenter was wheeled away with a hand truck on June 24 at about 2:45 am, from the rear of the bar, restaurant, and nano-brewery, on Adams Avenue. A man wearing a black tank top, surfer shorts and flip-flops and a blonde-haired woman wearing a light-colored mini dress took the beer apparatus and were recorded on the bar's surveillance camera. The incriminating video footage was posted on BLAH's social media. "They took it out through the driveway onto 34th Street by Rosie's and must have loaded it into a truck on 34th," reads the caption underneath the original post. "Anyone know[s] where they could possible sell the stainless [steel]? Lmk and I'll contact them for info."

Place

Blind Lady Ale House

3416 Adams Avenue, San Diego

While concerned citizens and local beer drinkers suggested looking into particular metal scrap yards, others reposted the video onto their Facebook and NextDoor pages.

I reached out to the original poster on social media for an update and did not receive a response; then, an update was made on BLAH's page stating on July 21, the bar's employee received a tip from his buddy saying they found the stolen fermenter. They spotted it 14 miles east of Normal Heights at Empire Thrift in El Cajon.

"This morning, I headed out expecting to be met with some pawn shop attitude, but the owner of Empire saw me walk in and was like, 'are you here about the tank?'" continued the BLAH social media handler. "Once he heard it was stolen (apparently the word made it to him yesterday via someone who saw our post), he wanted it out of his shop and actually tried to contact us to give it back. He paid that thief $200 and said he was fine with losing the money because he felt bad for us losing such an expensive piece of equipment during such sucky times. So, we loaded it in the van, and then I pretty much forced him to take $200 cash. He was reluctant, but I thanked him for helping out a fellow small business and let him know I was so happy it was him who had it because not everyone would be so cool."

2017 stealing beer inside Reader

One neighbor saw the post and commented that someone stole "a full keg at a college party, but this is next level" thievery; another local suggested BLAH make a particular batch called "Sticky Fingers."

In the area of Normal Heights, between the 805 overpass and the I-15/Adams exit, by BLAH, beer theft was common at the 7-Elevens, Vons and CVS Pharmacy. For example, in 2017, a beer runner would grab a Reader outside of the 7-Eleven a block east of BLAH, then walk in, grab a tall can, wrap our magazine around the can, then run outside. Other thieves would grab cases of beer, then bolt.

And it still occurs almost five years after I wrote the Normal Heights beer-run report.

"A few days ago, I went to the 7-Eleven on 30th and Meade," Bonita Love said to me on August 7. "As I was standing at the counter, I saw a lady walk out with a yellow colored case of beer. The clerk said, 'Hey, where are you going? You didn't pay.' But she kept walking and didn't miss a beat. The clerk just shook his head." The 7-Eleven is located in Normal Heights, about a mile southwest of BLAH and the other 7-Eleven. And while many residents point figures at the homeless in the area for making the beer runs, the store managers I spoke with say teenagers who live with their parents nearby make the beer runs.

On the Reddit pages, beer runs and alcohol thefts are a typical gag that teens and former teens admit to on the forums, although nobody here has said anything about the stolen fermenter tank at BLAH.

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"I thanked him for helping out a fellow small business."
"I thanked him for helping out a fellow small business."

On July 22, the Blind Lady Ale House, referred to as BLAH in the Normal Heights neighborhood, recovered its stolen fermenter tank. It's worth $5,000 and is a large piece of steel equipment used to make BLAH's special batches of beer.

Video tape of theft

The industrial-sized fermenter was wheeled away with a hand truck on June 24 at about 2:45 am, from the rear of the bar, restaurant, and nano-brewery, on Adams Avenue. A man wearing a black tank top, surfer shorts and flip-flops and a blonde-haired woman wearing a light-colored mini dress took the beer apparatus and were recorded on the bar's surveillance camera. The incriminating video footage was posted on BLAH's social media. "They took it out through the driveway onto 34th Street by Rosie's and must have loaded it into a truck on 34th," reads the caption underneath the original post. "Anyone know[s] where they could possible sell the stainless [steel]? Lmk and I'll contact them for info."

Place

Blind Lady Ale House

3416 Adams Avenue, San Diego

While concerned citizens and local beer drinkers suggested looking into particular metal scrap yards, others reposted the video onto their Facebook and NextDoor pages.

I reached out to the original poster on social media for an update and did not receive a response; then, an update was made on BLAH's page stating on July 21, the bar's employee received a tip from his buddy saying they found the stolen fermenter. They spotted it 14 miles east of Normal Heights at Empire Thrift in El Cajon.

"This morning, I headed out expecting to be met with some pawn shop attitude, but the owner of Empire saw me walk in and was like, 'are you here about the tank?'" continued the BLAH social media handler. "Once he heard it was stolen (apparently the word made it to him yesterday via someone who saw our post), he wanted it out of his shop and actually tried to contact us to give it back. He paid that thief $200 and said he was fine with losing the money because he felt bad for us losing such an expensive piece of equipment during such sucky times. So, we loaded it in the van, and then I pretty much forced him to take $200 cash. He was reluctant, but I thanked him for helping out a fellow small business and let him know I was so happy it was him who had it because not everyone would be so cool."

2017 stealing beer inside Reader

One neighbor saw the post and commented that someone stole "a full keg at a college party, but this is next level" thievery; another local suggested BLAH make a particular batch called "Sticky Fingers."

In the area of Normal Heights, between the 805 overpass and the I-15/Adams exit, by BLAH, beer theft was common at the 7-Elevens, Vons and CVS Pharmacy. For example, in 2017, a beer runner would grab a Reader outside of the 7-Eleven a block east of BLAH, then walk in, grab a tall can, wrap our magazine around the can, then run outside. Other thieves would grab cases of beer, then bolt.

And it still occurs almost five years after I wrote the Normal Heights beer-run report.

"A few days ago, I went to the 7-Eleven on 30th and Meade," Bonita Love said to me on August 7. "As I was standing at the counter, I saw a lady walk out with a yellow colored case of beer. The clerk said, 'Hey, where are you going? You didn't pay.' But she kept walking and didn't miss a beat. The clerk just shook his head." The 7-Eleven is located in Normal Heights, about a mile southwest of BLAH and the other 7-Eleven. And while many residents point figures at the homeless in the area for making the beer runs, the store managers I spoke with say teenagers who live with their parents nearby make the beer runs.

On the Reddit pages, beer runs and alcohol thefts are a typical gag that teens and former teens admit to on the forums, although nobody here has said anything about the stolen fermenter tank at BLAH.

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