PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WTXF) - Police are searching for a suspect who they say stole several cans of Red Bull from a 7-Eleven on Market Street.
Nadeem Zarin has had enough of people trying to steal from his 7-Eleven on Market Street in Center City. So when a man came into his store this month with a razor knife trying to steal cases of Red Bull, he and his brother fought him off.
"He pull out his knife and tried to get away from him," Zarin told FOX 29. "This one, he was very professional."
"That upgrades what would have been a tresspass and a theft to a robbery," said Police Captain Sekou Kinebrew of the Philadelphia Police Department.
Zarin says Red Bull and other popular energy drinks are a hot item on the black market in Philadelphia. This year alone, thieves have stolen over $15,000 worth of energy drinks from his store. In June, 17 people were caught shoplifting the drinks here.
"They're selling on the black market. They're selling in the streets," Zarin explained.
"Apparently there's a trend, there's a lucrative underground market for this type of thing. I don't know if it's specific to red bull or the more expensive energy drinks. Some sort of black market," Capt. Kinebrew confirmed to FOX 29.
The thefts have gotten so bad Zarin put an alarm on his refrigerated display cases to alert him when someone opens them up. He put a lock on the back door after the razor wielding robber helped himself to cases of Red Bull.
"What they usually do. They're stealing from here and selling in Chinatown," Zarin added.
Police acknowledge the escalating Red Bull and energy drink thefts around the city. They're hoping somebody might recognize this man and give them a call.
Zarin wants the thefts and robberies to stop.
"I'm feeling disrespected. It is disrespecting for everyone because now when someone comes in with a bag we have to look on him. Is he gonna put something in the bag or not?" Zarin said.