Locked in beer cooler, Wisconsin man gets busy

Jeremy Van Ert

When the clock struck 12, the cooler closed and Van Ert was locked inside.

A Wisconsin man who accidentally got locked inside a beer cooler at a gas station stayed inside and helped himself to beer overnight.

He said, "The subject found himself locked within the beer cooler (and) knew that Kwik Trip would not sell him any beer after midnight".

Jeremy Van Ert, 38, told Marshfield, Wis. Police he was trying to buy beer around midnight when the door automatically locked from the outside, according to Police Chief Rick Gramza. "A customer came by the beer cooler at about 6 a.m. and saw him inside". Staff at the store also say the man toppled and damaged three 30-packs of beer.

When they opened the door, he left the store without paying for what he drank: An 18-ounce bottle of beer and three cans of malt liquor.

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"This is unique, I've been here 20 years".

Van Ert is being held in the Wood County Jail on probation hold due to an unrelated case. The cooler has a glass door and, if the man had knocked, employees would have heard him and let him out.

"He had a pretty high blood alcohol level when he was arrested and as a part of his probation he was ordered to not drink alcohol", Gramza said.

Kwik Trip told police that they are reviewing their security options.

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