The Bug Bandits
Summary: Some guys in Westmoreland County are caught on tape lifting empty kegs of beer and loading them into their getaway car -- a Volkswagen Beetle. Reporter: Jennifer Miele, WTAE Channel 4 Airtime: 1 minute, 40 seconds on Dec. 9 Visuals: * Anchor Wendy Bell, who's got her "winter white" on as she stands in the foreground of a concave video screen to prepare us for the unbeerable facts. * Repeated snippets of surveillance video. Highlights: * When Miele notifies us that "[s]tate police are hoping you will recognize one of the two men in this surveillance video captured from the storage shed behind Texas Roadhouse in Hempfield Township. You can see them driving up in a Volkswagen Beetle." * When she narrates the action: "One goes inside to grab three empty kegs of beer, which state police say are worth about $30 each when returned to a beer distributor. The other takes a while to figure out how to pop the trunk, going from the driver's side door to the back of the car several times. But once he does, the pair load the kegs in the back, one by one, as if they're supposed to be taking them. They finally take off." * When she adds, "But this isn't the first time empty kegs of beer have disappeared from the restaurant. These are surveillance photos from Sept. 14. ... Two men [can be seen] sneaking into the outdoor storage shed, eyeing up two empty kegs, loading them into their Jeep and taking off." * When a state trooper tells Channel 4, "The fact we do have some video surveillance, now that we're able to look at it, and I think with the help from your viewers, that we do have a possibility of solving it." * When Miele emphasizes, "Police are asking you to take a good look at the suspects -- especially this man, wearing a Boston Red Sox ball cap. And these men, who seem to be familiar with the storage shed, walking in and going right for the kegs. Police aren't sure if it's the same men responsible for both burglaries." What We Learned: Even thieves don't want to be seen in Pirates merchandise. Unanswered Question: Wouldn't stealing a full keg be more fun? News Value: 2. One reason people buy the Beetle is to be seen in it. And it's not known for its trunk space. Those details could have made this story a bit more intriguing ... and perhaps made it worth the 100 seconds of my life.