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Booze Bandits Busted: High-End Hooch Heist in Ventura County

Sophia Becker

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high-end alcohol from Ventura County stores.
Thousands of dollars worth of stolen high-end alcohol was discovered during a Thousand Oaks retail theft bust on June 12, 2024. (Ventura County Sheriff’s Office)

In a scene straight out of a Hollywood heist movie, two L.A. residents decided to quench their thirst for the finer things in life by helping themselves to thousands of dollars worth of top-shelf liquor from Ventura County stores. But their grand plan to stock up on the good stuff went down about as smoothly as a shot of cheap tequila.

John Daniel Johnson, 37, and Dhati Mack Conley, 34, thought they’d hit the jackpot when they waltzed into a Target store in Thousand Oaks on June 12. Little did they know, their shopping spree was about to come to an abrupt end.

As they were loading up on bottles that probably cost more than most people’s weekly grocery bill, eagle-eyed security crews spotted the pair. Faster than you can say “last call,” our not-so-smooth criminals made a dash for it.

But their getaway was about as successful as trying to open a wine bottle with your teeth. Deputies caught up with them as they were peeling out of the parking lot, putting the brakes on their boozy adventure.

When the cops popped the trunk, it was like they’d stumbled upon a millionaire’s liquor cabinet. We’re talking about $5,000 worth of high-end hooch, lifted from both Target and Ralphs. Talk about expensive taste!

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Now, Johnson and Conley are facing felony charges for organized retail theft. And given their rap sheets are longer than a cocktail menu, a judge slapped them with a $200,000 bail. Looks like they’ll be trading in their top-shelf dreams for some jailhouse pruno.

The Ventura County Organized Retail Theft Task Force is on the case, determined to keep sticky fingers out of store shelves. They’re asking anyone with info to give them a ring at 805-383-8703. Or, if you prefer to keep it on the down-low, you can always drop an anonymous tip to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers.

Remember folks, crime doesn’t pay – but it sure can cost you a pretty penny.

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