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Teen accused of spitting in Arizona Tea, returning it to store shelf, Texas cops say

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A Texas teenager is accused of spitting in a bottle of Arizona Tea and putting it back on the shelf, media outlets report.

Odessa police officers responded to the Albertson’s grocery store about 10 p.m. Monday after a store security officer reported that a 15-year-old boy grabbed the drink, put his lips on it and returned it to the shelf, according to KOSA. When the security officer had talked to the boy, the teenager said he spit in the bottle, the Odessa TV station reported.

Odessa police watched surveillance video of the teenager taking the Arizona Tea and apparently taking a drink before returning it to the shelf, the Odessa American reported. The teenager told police he tasted the tea, but “then put it back because it was gross,” the newspaper reported.

United Family, the grocery store chain that operates Albertson’s, issued a statement about the incident, according to KWES.

“We remind our guests to always check their products to ensure safety seals are intact and the item has not been compromised,” part of the company’s statement to the TV station said. “If they notice anything suspicious, they should alert store management immediately and return the product for a full refund.”

The teenager is charged with tampering with a consumer product, a second-degree felony, and was in a county youth center, the Odessa American reported.

The incident comes less than a month after video of a teenager licking Blue Bell ice cream and returning it to the shelf went viral.

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Chacour Koop is a Real-Time reporter based in Kansas City. Previously, he reported for the Associated Press, Galveston County Daily News and Daily Herald in Chicago.
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