Police cite cashiers for liquor sales to minor

Thursday, July 3, 2003

A police sweep of nine Cape Girardeau stores Tuesday night netted four cashiers who sold alcohol to a 20-year-old woman working undercover for the department.

The cashiers each received a summons and may have to pay fines.The operation was part of a series of compliance checks for local businesses that sell alcohol, Sgt. Rick Schmidt said.

The young woman buying the alcohol is an employee of the department, but not an officer, Schmidt said. She worked with two officers, one to handle evidence and the other to issue citations, and carried her own driver's license as identification.

"Sometimes they ask for it and nobody looks at it," Schmidt said. "And sometimes nobody asks for it at all."

The following store employees sold alcohol to the young woman:

Jane M. Baine, 23, of Tamms, Ill. -- Amerimart No. 7 at 1320 W. Cape Rock.

Chap M. Lohmann, 22, of Cape Girardeau -- Bi-State Southern at 400 Morgan Oak.

Gena M. Law, 18, of Cape Girardeau -- Wink's at 2021 Perryville Road.

April S. Bauer, 47, of Cape Girardeau -- JD's Quick Shop at 1101 William.

Cape Girardeau police carry out such stings after they've compiled several complaints from people concerned about certain stores selling alcohol to minors, Schmidt said. In the past, police worked closely with agents from the Missouri Division of Liquor Control.

But the division recently took a 23 percent budget cut and can't participate as much, said Rick Wieser, supervisor for the St. Louis office, which now oversees Southeast Missouri. Before June 16, the Cape Girardeau office had six agents. Now, there are only four agents covering 18 Southeast Missouri counties and no local supervisor.

Mike Kolb covers Perry, Scott and Cape Girardeau counties from his home office.

"We don't do stings," Wieser said. "If requested, we will go along to monitor the sting. Then, we do the follow-up investigation if any citations are made. In this case, the police agency will forward a copy to our St. Louis office or to the assigned area agent for those counties."

Punishment

Businesses caught selling alcohol to minors face a variety of consequences, he said. Punishment can range from nothing -- resulting from a bad case in which not enough evidence is presented -- up to a full license revocation. Businesses can also receive verbal and written warnings, fines, and license suspension.

"It depends on the store's history," Wieser said. "A suspension can range from one to 60 days. They'll have to attend an informal hearing with me and the deputy supervisor of Liquor Control, Lori Baskins, in Jefferson City."

During Tuesday night's police operation, the following Cape Girardeau stores did not sell to the undercover minor: Storey's Food Giant at 1120 N. Kingshighway, Schnuck's at 19 S. Kingshighway, Kidd's Gas Mart at 1325 Broadway, Rhodes 101 at 10 S. West End Boulevard and Kidd's II at 103 N. Kingshighway.

"You have to give credit to their in-store training on carding minors," Schmidt said of the stores who successfully passed the sweep. "That's good. They need to be commended for that."

And they will be. Those businesses who were found to be in compliance will receive a letter of thanks from the police chief, Steve Strong, Schmidt said.

mwells@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 160

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