Beer Thief Offers to "Shoot the Locks Off" Cooler During Second Robbery Attempt of Morning

Arizona's liquor laws dictate that people within the state's borders can't purchase alcohol between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. But they can still steal it -- or at least try to -- which is apparently the route a San Tan Valley man took on his quest to get sent back to prison.

According to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, 24-year-old Lance Robin Ahasteen was arrested this morning after trying to rob beer from a Quick Trip convenience store in San Tan Valley. It was the same store from which he'd robbed two 40-ounce beers just hours earlier.

During the second robbery attempt, at about 3:45 a.m., Ahasteen again demanded beer, but the clerk told him the coolers were locked and he couldn't sell him any. Ahasteen then pulled out a gun and offered to help the clerk open the cooler.

"I will shoot the locks off," Ahasteen told the clerk.

The clerk asked Ahasteen if he was serious, which he apparently was -- he told the clerk he "had problems and wanted to go back to prison."

Ahasteen recently was released from the joint after serving time for a 2007 aggravated assault in Utah.

Ahasteen fled the store but was quickly met in the parking lot by PCSO deputies and arrested -- giving Sheriff Paul Babeu an opportunity to toot his rarely silent hornt.

"During the past two years, we have worked extremely hard to reduce emergency response times in all areas of Pinal County," Babeu says. "Emergency response times in many areas of the county have been cut nearly in half. The quick response times by deputies was key to taking this suspect into custody."

Ahasteen was booked into the Pinal County Detention Center on one count of armed robbery and one count of possession of a weapon by a prohibited possessor.