Officer accused of stealing vacuum cleaner, instant oatmeal during off-duty security job
A Maryland police officer stole a Dyson vacuum cleaner, instant oatmeal and two boxes of condoms during his off-duty security job at a Walmart store, according to Montgomery County Police officials and a statement of charges the department filed Sunday. The officer, Jose A. Barahona, 25, of Silver Spring, took the items during “a continuing course of conduct” in the store in Germantown, according to court filings, which also state that store surveillance video shows that Barahona took additional, unknown items going back to late last year. The officer, who joined the Montgomery County force four years ago, most recently worked patrol in the county’s Wheaton District. He has been suspended from duty, with pay, pending “the completion of this investigation and future court action,” police officials said in a statement.
Barahona faces three misdemeanor counts: theft scheme ranging from $100 to $1,500; theft in that same range; and theft under $100. He could not be immediately reached for comment. It is unclear if he has retained an attorney. “This was a series of horrible decisions by the officer,” said Capt. Paul Starks, police spokesman. “We are taking this case seriously and will investigate it to its fullest.”The investigation of Barahona began in February, when a Walmart loss prevention associate, who suspected that Barahona was stealing, contacted Montgomery County Police, according to court records. Sgt. Robert Rollins went to the store, spoke with the employee and watched surveillance video. He recognized his colleague on the video, according to court filings. [Source: The Washington Post]
C-store employee stole more than $14,000
In Pennsylvania, an employee at the Centre Hall Snappy’s Convenience Store is facing charges after allegedly stealing more than $14,000 in money deposits she was responsible for making on behalf of the store. Snappy’s accounting department reported to the district store manager on Dec. 20 that a daily deposit had not been made since Dec. 11. The district manager then contacted Tracy L. Addleman, 40, who was responsible for making the daily deposits, and Addleman couldn’t explain why they had not been made. On Dec. 21, the district manager told state police that she retrieved the daily deposit prepared by Addleman, but found it was $258 short. When confronted by the district manager and a human resources staff member about the missing deposits, Addleman only said that she was keeping them in her car but that the money wasn’t currently there, according to a criminal complaint. After being told she had one last chance to get the money, Addleman allegedly went to her car and returned with four Ziploc bags containing about $1,800 in cash. Three of the bags had deposit slips stating greater amounts than were inside the bags. The district manager told police that in total Addleman was responsible for the loss of $14,101.22 over more than a week. Addleman was charged with felony counts of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception and receiving stolen property. She was arraigned on Monday before District Judge Thomas Jordan and released on $20,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 21. [Source: StateCollege.com]
Shoplifting suspect was carrying drugs, loaded gun
Canton Ohio Police say the young man who left a local Walmart store without paying for a cellphone accessory was carrying a loaded gun and bags of illegal drugs. Dustin Keith, 30, who has no permanent address, was arrested at the store at 3200 Atlantic Blvd. NE at 12:10 a.m. Tuesday on charges of carrying a concealed weapon, theft, possession of a controlled substance and drug possession, according to Stark County Jail records. Canton police reports show that he was carrying “a concealed handgun with an inserted magazine containing ammunition” when he left the store without paying for the accessory. He also had two bags containing undisclosed amounts of cocaine and marijuana.Keith remained in the jail later Tuesday afternoon, held in lieu of $52,000 bond pending a Canton Municipal Court hearing. [Source: CantonRep]
Shoplifting arrest after 10-mile car chase, crash
A Folsom, California, man is facing charges of shoplifting and evading law enforcement after a tool theft from North Auburn’s Home Depot led to a wild car chase that ended when it crashed through a fence into a Newcastle home’s front yard, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office reported. Stephen Daniel Crawford was arrested at Wednesday’s crash scene in Newcastle and spent a day behind bars before being released Thursday. A photo released by the Sheriff’s Office shows a banged up sedan behind a fence next to a house, with oranges from a nearby tree knocked onto the ground. Crawford, 19, was reported by staff to be stealing power tools from the North Auburn home improvement store at 7:10 p.m. on Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Office said. Employees supplied dispatchers with vehicle and suspect descriptions, and deputies were able to quickly locate the suspect car a short distance away from the store. Deputies attempted to get the driver to pull the car over to the side of the highway but the suspect took off, the Sheriff’s Office said. The vehicle pursuit continued through Auburn to Interstate 80 and then toward Newcastle, where the suspect exited.After an estimated 10 miles of driving with a law-enforcement tail, the suspect ended up crashing the car through a fence and into the yard of a home. He sustained minor injuries and was medically checked at a hospital before being booked into the Placer County Jail, the Sheriff’s Office reported. [Source: Dayton Auburn Journal]
Police say suspect stole over $10,000 from local retailer
A major theft case involving a large amount of merchandise stolen in November from the Coldwater Meijer store has resulted in the arrest of a suspect taken into custody last week. 36-year old Derek Butler of Coldwater surrendered at the Branch County Jail Friday and was arraigned in Branch County District Court on 3 counts of first degree retail fraud and also on a child support charge. According to Coldwater City Police, the items with an estimated value of $10,000 were reported stolen on November 23 and November 29, 2017. The surveillance camera at Meijer spotted the license plate on the car used in the thefts and allowed police eventually to learn where Butler lived.
A search warrant signed in early February allowed officers to enter the suspect’s home on West Chicago Street where they found much of the merchandise including TV’s, computers, electronic games, drones and children’s toys. Police also said items taken from the Walmart store in Coldwater were discovered at Butler’s residence.
Butler’s bond was set at $30,000, ten percent allowed, and Butler is due back in Branch County District Court for a probable cause hearing March 15, 2018. [Source: WTVB4 News]
Retailers using third-party company to lock returns
Major retailers, including Best Buy, JCPenny, Victoria’s Secret and a variety of others, have been tracking the return habits of shoppers and secretly punishing those who are suspected it be abusing return policies. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the retailers are making use of the services of a third-party company, The Retail Equation, that keeps a running tally of all returns made by each customer in order to prevent potential fraud. The Retail Equation, which is based in Irvine, California, claims on its website to be responsible for approving nearly 610 million returns. The company also claims to approve over 99 percent of all returns. Retail fraud is a legitimate issue for retailers. According to a 2017 survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, retailers estimate about 11 percent of all sales are returned and about 11 percent of those returns are believed to be fraudulent. However, it appears that in some cases, The Retail Equation may crack down on the wrong customers. According to consumers, the service being utilized by a number of major retailers is not as generous as it claims. One Best Buy customer, Jake Zakhar, reported that he was banned from making a return with the chain for a year due to previous returns tracked by The Retail Equation. “There should be no secret databases. That’s a basic rule of privacy practices,” Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director at the Public Interest Research Group, told the Associated Press regarding The Retail Equation. “Consumers should know that information is being collected about them.” [Source: International Business Times]