Accused alcohol thief scheduled for jury trial

A jury trial has been scheduled for December for a Kansas City, Kan. man accused of serial thefts of alcohol from a Platte County grocery store.

Benjamin N. Smith, 46, of Kansas City, Kan. was charged with one count of felony stealing in April for incidents that occurred during a two-week period in late March and early April. The jury trial, before judge Thomas Fincham, has been scheduled to begin Monday, Dec. 17 and is expected to take three days. Smith remains in custody in the Platte County Detention Center.

According to court documents, Kansas City police responded to Hen House on Chatham Road in early April. The store’s loss prevention manager shared surveillance footage from the store, showing Smith stealing hundreds of dollars worth of alcohol in three incidents. Losses totaled almost $900 and Smith was suspected in previous alcohol thefts from the store as well. That store closed on April 16.

Starting on Saturday, March 24, Smith selected multiple bottles of alcohol and placed them in a shopping basket, then left the store without paying and fled in a green sedan with Kansas plates. Less than a week later, Smith returned and repeated his act, again fleeing in the same sedan. On Sunday, April 8, Smith returned and again loaded up a shopping basket and left, this time jumping into a white sedan with Missouri plates.

Smith has an “extensive” criminal history, according to court documents, involving both violent crimes and thefts in Kansas and Missouri. He also has seven outstanding Kansas City municipal warrants, all for theft.

 Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith