It was an unlucky weekend for eight adults in Menlo Park and East Palo Alto who allegedly fell for the police department's latest minor decoy operation.
Out of 16 attempts, the decoy was reportedly able to buy alcohol five times -- at Cook's Seafood and Trader Joe's in Menlo Park, and a 7-11, the East Side Market and Oakwood Market in East Palo Alto, the Menlo Park Police Department announced. The minor was also able to persuade three other adults to provide alcohol, police said.
The stores that sold to the decoy face a variety of possible penalties, including fines of $250 to $1,000; 24 to 32 hours of community service; and the suspension or loss of their liquor license.
The March 14 operation, which was part of a statewide effort that netted 422 citations, was funded through grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety and Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
According to the police, decoys must "be under the age of 20, must have the appearance of a minor, cannot wear clothes or jewelry that would make them look older, and must answer truthfully if asked their age."
The Menlo Park Police Department initially gave incorrect dates for the decoy operation. It actually took place Saturday, March 14.