LA MIRADA, Calif. -- A couple targeted a La Mirada ampm and used kids to help them steal Red Bull, which also led to the children pelting two clerks with the cans.
Security video captured a man who stayed outside the store and pointed at merchandise through the window. He instructed the children on what to take.
At the same time, a woman who the clerk presumed was the children's mother came to the counter and distracted the clerk by asking about the price of cigarettes.
"'How much is a cigarette? You know how much this one and this one is?' Take a lot of time," store operator Ashraf Guirgis said.
One of the children made their move a moment later, grabbing as many cases of Red Bull as they could carry and making a run for it.
Guirgis said he was floored by what he saw on the video. The children were acting as operatives. A case was spilled and then the male thief hurled a 12 oz projectile at another clerk, who tried to get a picture of them with his phone.
The store operator said the adult's choice of Red Bull seemed calculated.
"They only take the Red Bull because the case is small, a little bit. It's not heavy and it's expensive. The cost is around $50. Total damage is like $700," Guirgis said.
The cost does not include the loss of a clerk, who was scared off by the bullies. The person quit because they did not want to work at night, Guirgis said.
Detectives handling the case work out of the Norwalk Sheriff's Station. Anyone with more information was urged to call detective Sotomayor at (562) 863-8711.
Couple pelt clerk with Red Bull cans, use kids to steal cases from gas station