Police say man stole beer from port, sold it to stores

A Daly City man tried to spread the high life after stealing a truck full of beer from the Port of Oakland, authorities said.

Carlos Passalacqua Demartini, 37, is accused of casing a 40-foot cargo trailer loaded with $10,000 of Corona beer from a secure yard at the Port of Oakland in January, San Mateo County Deputy District Attorney Morley Pitt said.

“We don’t know how many cases were stolen, but it was a tremendous number,” Pitt said.

What the alleged thief may not have realized at the time was that the beer wasn’t just standard Corona: it was liter-sized Corona labeled in French, intended for a cruise ship possibly destined for Canada, Pitt said.

The distinctiveness of the bottle labeling led a California Highway Patrol cargo theft task force to search through liquor stores in San Francisco, he said. Sure enough, about four days after the cargo trailer disappeared from the port yard, 13 cases were sold to a liquor store in the Tenderloin, he said.

A store employee identified Demartini as the man who sold them the beer, Pitt said, and the CHP team quickly procured a search warrant for his residence and van in Daly City.

Though they did not find the beer there, they did find a laptop that had been stolen in San Francisco in late December, Pitt said. Officers also found stolen property from parts of six separate cargo thefts from the last few months, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Demartini may have been part of a cargo theft ring operating throughout Northern California, Pitt said.

He said another Daly City man, Eutimio Rodriguez, has also been arrested by CHP’s cargo theft team, though he couldn’t elaborate on the charges.

Demartini was charged with the possession of stolen property and appeared at a preliminary hearing at the South San Francisco Municipal Court on Monday. He is scheduled to appear in Redwood City’s Superior Court on March 11. San Francisco and Alameda County district attorney’s offices may also file charges against him, Wagstaffe said.

Demartini is being held on $60,000 bail and has no prior record, Pitt said.

kworth@examiner.com

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