Two men attempted to steal nine bottles of high-end liquor from Frida Mexican Grill Friday morning after drinking almost all of a $600 bottle of tequila from behind the bar.
According to Madison Police Department spokesperson Joel DeSpain, the owner caught the men as he was opening the restaurant at 117 State St. and was able to push them into an area where they could not get out.
The suspects drank three-quarters of a bottle of Herradura tequila, which the owner valued at $600, and were intoxicated during their arrest.
The two men are identified as Charles Theodore Lindsey, 41, and Bill Martin, 47. Neither of the men have permanent addresses.
When the owner arrived, the men were sneaking out the back door with nine other bottles of alcohol, including five bottles of tequila, one bottle of gin, one bottle of Grand Marinier, one bottle of scotch and a bottle of Chardonnay.
While the police are still investigating the incident, DeSpain said the suspects may have forced a door open.
DeSpain said the men could be forced by a judge to pay the owner back for the alcohol they drank out of the $600 bottle of tequila.
“I’m not sure they’re in a position to pay restitution,” DeSpain said.
While they did not successfully make off with additional liquor, the two men have been tentatively charged with non-residential burglary.
According to a study conducted by the Madison Police Department and United Way of Dane County, about 100 chronically drunken and disorderly people are soaking up police resources downtown, The Wisconsin State Journal reported Sunday.
DeSpain said University of Wisconsin Law students were involved in the study of the transient population downtown.
Neither the owner of Frida Mexican Grill nor Lt. Joe Balles of the Central police district returned phone calls seeking comment Monday