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Businesses Caught Selling Beer To Underage Mystery Shoppers: Police

Cops say retailer and tavern failed to comply with minimum age liquor laws during compliance check of village liquor licensees.

Two Oak Lawn liquor establishments were caught selling alcohol to minors during an underage “mystery shopper” sting conducted by Oak Lawn Police, reports said.

The alleged violations occurred after a letter was sent to village liquor license holders, stating that police would be sending underage mystery shoppers to ensure that businesses weren’t selling alcohol to persons under 21.

At 5:16 p.m. Dec. 26, two mystery shoppers, ages 19 and 18, attempted to purchase a case of Miller Lite beer at Cardinal Liquors, 9630 Southwest Highway.

Police said that the 74-year-old cashier did not ask for minors’ IDs and sold them the case of beer.

Both mystery shoppers left the store with the Miller Lite, which was immediately destroyed, reports said.

The cashier was issued a village ordinance violation for sale of alcohol to underage persons.

Moments later, underage mystery shoppers entered PJ’s Pourhouse at 5635 W. 87th St. at 5:52 p.m. Both minors ordered bottles of Miller Lite, police said.

The 58-year-old bartender checked the minors’ IDs stating they were 18 and 19, but served them beer anyway, according to the report.

Police said the bartender rang up the sale on the register, as officers observed from inside the bar.

The bartender was also cited for violating an ordinance prohibiting the sale of alcohol to a minor.

The accused sellers face fines ranging from $500 to $1,000. Both are scheduled for hearings at Oak Lawn Village Hall on Jan. 21.


Stanley Marszalek January 03, 2014 at 11:27 AM
The case of beer was "destroyed" does that mean they drank it all right there in the lot ?
anthony January 03, 2014 at 12:07 PM
I find the term "Mystery Shoppers" offensive .. While an interesting profession, the term is also used in a well oiled scam... The drama unfolds as a potential employment offer ..The victim is contacted through phone email or responding to a posted resume. The "assignment" most often entails purchasing luxury items at certain locations with the bait of sales discounts or out of stock... A check is sent to cover the cost of goods plus any potential commission .. The check is the scam it is completely fraudulent and a way to siphon off entire life savings ...Deposit it and you are hooked.. Years ago when the scam was just emerging i brought the check to the bank manager at 104th cicero It was so good he was impressed ... So to summarize wrong words used,while a selling to minor ticket is a 500 fine or so its not a Scam... Oh and considering recent comments and reactions from various social medias and posting outlets Be careful like scammers you are not 2 smart for your own good
MM January 03, 2014 at 12:35 PM
Yeah but Anthony, that's not what happened here. So your point is moot.
J January 03, 2014 at 01:15 PM
PJ's Purhouse - not surprised
Tim Walter Putala January 03, 2014 at 04:06 PM
How about you use this man power to catch the scum theifs that have been running around oak lawn
Jason Ramos January 03, 2014 at 04:44 PM
If OLPD only focuses on the "scum theifs" then Tim Walter will be the 1st one to say "why aren't they doing bar checks!" when some drunk 18 year old breaks a window on 95th st or gets hit by a car. Law enforcement covers a wide range of tasks, Tim, and they are responsible for all of them.
Luther January 03, 2014 at 08:18 PM
Will the Mayor, in her most powerful mayoral role as Oak Lawn’s sole liquor commissioner, ask these owners if they contributed to any trustees campaign too?
Michelle t January 03, 2014 at 11:57 PM
If they sell to minors, why only a $500 fine? I think $1000 at least. After all the city did warn them... Why not pull the license a few days....
EOMessage January 22, 2014 at 04:07 PM
Because the owner of 1 of these bars is the brother of Tom Phelan. The same Phelan who got Mayor Sanra Bury and Liquor Commissioner elected and hired. This is pay to play in the maklng. You won't see those details in this report because it is too damning. This brother donated campaign money to them in the last election. The editor left those details out on purpose. This is also why you see other bars dragged through the mud that do not support Bury
Oak Lawn Readerr March 08, 2014 at 05:25 PM
?? Status please?

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