Store owner busted for buying high-end stolen liquor

SIMI VALLEY, Calif.

Simi Valley resident Mahd Barakat, 50, owns Melody Liquor, located at 2462 Stearns Street in Simi Valley. Police received information that Barakat had been soliciting minors and young adults to steal expensive liquor from area grocery stores, according to police.

Barakat allegedly paid a low-dollar amount for the stolen items, then sold the bottles in his store, according to police.

Detectives set up a sting operation Thursday in which Barakat solicited a subject to steal expensive liquor, then purchased it, according to police. Barakat was subsequently arrested.

Detectives were investigating other high-dollar liquor thefts in the area.

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