HUNTS POINT — A security guard at a Budweiser warehouse helped his friends cart off more than $100,000 in cases of beer over several months by turning cameras to point away from the thirsty thieves, police said.
Charles Dandrea, 52, was arrested last week when plainclothes cops watched him shift the warehouse cameras as a crew of five pals drove a U-Haul van up to the warehouse to load it with pallets of suds, cops said.
“We had a dishonest security guard that was recruiting friends,” said Deputy Inspector Philip Rivera of Hunts Point’s 41st Precinct.
On six different nights from November 2012 through February, Dandrea allegedly covered for the crew as they hauled off thousands of dollars worth of beer and non-alcoholic drinks, according to court documents.
The distribution center for Anheuser-Busch InBev, which sells Budweiser, Beck's, Stella Artois and other lagers, rests on the waterfront inside the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center.
Recently, the warehouse security chief noticed that the late-night inventories were out of whack, Rivera said.
When he reviewed the surveillance footage, he saw that the cameras had been rotated away from the warehouse doors during several of Dandrea’s shifts, Rivera added.
The security director then alerted the 41st Precinct, which set up a surveillance post on Feb. 23.
Sure enough, a U-Haul van rolled up to the warehouse about 1:15 a.m. Sunday Feb. 24 and the pack of thieves set about stocking it with beer, Rivera said.
When cops swooped in to arrest Dandrea and his posse — made up of three men and two women — they also found six bags of marijuana in the front seat of the van, criminal complaints show.
The crew arrested included Doreen Carroll, 50, Jason Derico, 37, Stephen Garcia, 33, Anthony Lacen, 27, and Susan Muccio, 31.
They have all been charged with petty and grand larceny. Each could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the second-degree grand larceny charge, according to the Bronx District Attorney’s office.
Dandrea and Carroll have also been charged with illegal possession of marijuana.
Representatives for Anheuser-Busch InBev did not immediately return calls for comment.