Two store clerks from two stores were fined after police caught them selling beer to minors during an undercover sting Aug. 7 at 18 businesses across North Ridgeville.

Both clerks appeared in North Ridgeville Mayor’s Court Aug. 14 for the offenses. Zachary Thomas, 22, of North Ridgeville, a clerk at Giant Eagle 34325 Center Ridge Road, was fined $50 plus $100 in court costs for disorderly conduct.

Abigail Trout, 19, of North Olmsted, a clerk at Snappy Gas, 8995 Avon Belden Road, was fined $100, plus $100 in court costs for disorderly conduct.

Mayor’s court officials declined to comment on why the charges were disorderly conduct and the outcome of the cases.

Giant Eagle spokesman Daniel Donovan said the store takes its obligation to be a responsible retailer seriously and team members go through rigorous testing.

“We are disappointed, and the team member responsible has been terminated,” Donovan said. “All other relevant team members will go through training again.”

A manager at the Snappy Gas said the retailer doesn’t comment on incidents like this.

In making the buys, the agencies used an 18-year-old who went into the business and tried to buy beer. The teenager tried to make the buys at 16 other businesses besides Giant Eagle and Snappy Gas but didn’t succeed, police said.

“It’s something we do a couple of times a year,” said Capt. Marti Garrow of the North Ridgeville police. “It’s getting close to the start of the school year so we thought this would be a good time to do one.”

Police had not received any complaints about the businesses prior to the attempted buys, Garrow said.

Other agencies involved were the STOP Underage Drinking Taskforce, the Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services Board of Lorain County and the Ohio Investigative Unit.

The other 16 businesses will receive congratulatory letters from the Ohio Investigative Unit for doing proper identification checks and not selling beer, police said. Those businesses are: Aldi, AM/PM BP, Butternut Corners BP at 32700 Mills Creek Lane, Convenient Food Mart, CVS drug store, Friendship BP at 38800 Center Ridge Road, Get Go gas station, Marathon gas station, Marc’s, Sheetz, Snappy Gas at 33600 Center Ridge Road, Speedway at 35066 Center Ridge Road, Speedway at 32390 Lorain Road, Walgreens and Zip Thru Beverage.

Contact this reporter at assoceditor@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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