Teens take beer truck on joy ride

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 24, 2002

Messenger Intern

Three teenagers heading home from the beach enjoyed the high life in a stolen beer delivery van before being arrested Thursday in Troy.

According to the Troy Police Department, the three teenagers from Indiana apparently stole the unattended Miller Lite delivery van while it was parked at the Amoco station on Elba Highway.

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"(The driver) said he had some samples in the van and that those boys drank them on up," said Sherry Howell, an attendant who has worked for a year at the Amoco where the van was stolen.

Zachary Salts, 18; Charles Salts, 19; and Matthew Menhenett, 18, all of Indiana, were arrested and charged with first degree theft, according to information released by Police Chief Anthony Everage. Bond was set at $5,000 each.

The All-State Beverage Company driver was apparently in the restroom when the men drove off with his vehicle. Officers believe the suspects may have been returning from the beach and that their vehicle had broke down in the Troy area.

An area detective heard of the theft on the radio and stopped the vehicle about an hour after the theft. The suspects tried to convince the detective that the driver of the van was their "Uncle Bubba." Apparently, the suspects heard someone call the driver "Bubba" on a radio left inside the van. When the officer asked for the driver’s surname, the suspects did not know it. They were then placed under arrest, police said.