May 19, 2016 11:47 AM by News Staff
One of the soda bandits has been identified, the Redding Police Department announced Thursday.
Eric Lee Cooley, 49, of Redding has been identified as one of the two men caught breaking into vehicles and stealing cases of soda from the Coca Cola distribution center in Redding.
Cooley is currently in custody after he was caught trying to break into vending machines on a school campus in Palo Cedro May 15.
Officers said they recognized Cooley from the surveillance stills and contacted him at the Shasta County Jail where he admitted he was the suspect caught on camera.
Cooley said his burglary specialty is coin-operated vending machines and was using the stolen money to feed his meth habit.
Investigators said they are still working to identify the other suspect in the thefts.
Police are asking anyone with information regarding the identity of the second suspect is encouraged to call Redding Police Investigations.