Saratoga Springs police didn’t have much trouble piecing together a case against Christopher Allen.
The 46-year-old Corinth man allegedly was found addled in some bushes off Lincoln Avenue on July 21. A short distance away was a motorized shopping cart swiped from Price Chopper and drained of its charge, with several empty bottles of Redd’s Apple Ale in the basket.
Allen was initially charged with stealing the cart from the Ballston Avenue supermarket, about a block away from where he was found. When police reviewed surveillance video from Price Chopper, though, the rest of the case came into focus.
Lt. Robert Jillson said the footage shows Allen loading up the cart — one ordinarily offered for handicapped shoppers — with two 30-packs of Budweiser, two 12-packs of Redd’s and four containers of yogurt. He said the video shows him zipping out of the store around 8 a.m. on July 20.
The following day, police received a report of Allen lying in the bushes. Witnesses at the scene said they saw Allen operating the cart, which was later abandoned on the street near where he was found.
“It was pretty easy to tie him to it,” Jillson said.
Allen was charged Friday with felony grand larceny and misdemeanor petty larceny for his alleged thefts from Price Chopper. The groceries were valued at $90 and the motorized cart at $1,600.
Though some of the beer was recovered, Jillson said there was no sign of the yogurt.
Allen was arrested on a warrant, arraigned in City Court and sent to the Saratoga County jail.
A city ordinance prohibits shopping carts of any kind from being removed from the parking lot of retailers. Jillson said it’s rare the large motorized carts are ever removed from stores.
“We don’t deal with it that often,” he said.