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Underage Decoys Ask Adults Outside Stores to Buy Booze

A “shoulder-tap” operation in Poway found three adults willing to buy alcohol for minors.

The Sheriff’s Department conducted a shoulder-tap operation in Poway Friday, where minors deployed as decoys ask adults outside liquor stores to buy alcohol for them.

Minors 18 or younger—supervised by sheriff’s deputies—contacted 20 people outside four different ABC-licensed stores in Poway and asked them to purchase alcohol for them, according to Sgt. Mike Arens. Three people agreed and bought alcohol for the decoys.

Misdemeanor citations were issued to those who furnished alcohol to the decoys, according to Arens.

The operation by the Poway Sheriff’s Station’s Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving Unit was assisted by the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. It was funded by a $100,000 grant the Sheriff’s Department received from ABC in July 2012.   

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