Stolen Charlotte brewery van used in dozen break-ins, police say

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A stolen Charlotte brewery van is believed to have been used in more than a dozen crimes in less than 24 hours.

Three people could be seen on video walking around The Unknown Brewing Company’s parking lot before stealing a van plastered with the business’s logo.

Brad Shell owns the brewery in South End.

[A guide to Charlotte-area breweries]

“We still thought for some reason it was a joke the whole time,” Shell said. “Why would you steal a van that has neon paint? It’s a very recognizable vehicle.”

Shell called police and posted information about the theft on social media.

[Less than an hour after offering beer reward, Unknown Brewing gets stolen van back]

He offered a keg party as a reward for the first person to find the van.

Someone spotted the van in less than 45 minutes.

“This girl lives across the street from where it’s parked, and she’s looking out her window,” Shell said. “She wanted to know if she needs to drive her car and block it right now.”

The van was recovered by police and dusted for fingerprints.

Authorities told Shell that the van was hot-wired by professional car thieves.

Police have a theory on what happened after the van was stolen.

“There (were) about 14 break-ins down the road where people were breaking into cars and stealing large items like golf clubs,” Shell said.

The stolen beer van was likely used to transport stolen goods, police told Shell.

“Unfortunately, this time, it did some illegal deliveries, but it was back today doing what it loves -- delivering beer,” Shell said.

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