Man locked in beer fridge ‘decided to stay and drink’ for six hours

A 38-year-old man from Wisconsin who got locked in a shop’s walk-in beer fridge decided to drink the contents rather than calling for help, and walked out six hours later without paying.

Jeremy Van Ert reportedly entered a Kwik Trip store in Marshfield, Wisconsin shortly before midnight on Tuesday 24 October to buy beer. Upon entering the walk-in beer fridge, the doors automatically locked when the clocks struck midnight.

According to the police report, the Van Ert said that he decided to stay inside the cooler and drink the beer. The cooler had a glass door meaning that if Van Ert had knocked, employees would have heard and seen him and would have been able to let him out.

Speaking to Washington Post, Marshfield police chief, Rick Gramza, said: “We never had somebody accidentally locked in a place and not make any attempt to be rescued or get out because they’re satisfied with the circumstances”.

“He just decided to run it out for the night. It had everything that he needed”.

Van Ert had reportedly consumed an 18-ounce bottle of Icehouse beer, three cans of Four Loko and had fallen over a stack of 30-can Busch beer packs, smashing three cases.

A Kwik Trip customer spotted Van Ert at around 5:50am on the morning of Wednesday 25 October. Employees opened the cooler door and Van Ert left without paying for the beer, according to the report.

According to police, Van Ert offered “offered no explanation” for why he didn’t call for help and had instead “decided to stay and drink”.

Van Ert was cited with retail theft on Wednesday 25 October. He is currently residing in Wood County Jail as he committed the above offence while on probation following two previous criminal charges.

Van Ert’s actions, however, have been met with praise by some Twitter users who have called on Kwik Trip to offer him a gift card.

Kwik Trip responded with a quip suggesting that it should kit out its beer coolers with beds. Twitter user @JoeKnudson1 also suggested that “it would be a good idea to keep a couple bags of chips in the beer cooler just in case”.

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