A 34-year-old woman from South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, now faces criminal charges for reportedly stealing almost $52,000 worth of merchandise from her now-former employer, Weis Markets. Stephanie M. Maggs worked for the Sunbury, PA-based supermarket chain as a clerk until June 2015, when she was let go under suspicion for employee theft.
In June, Old Lycoming Township police received a tip from a Weis customer after they witnessed Maggs failing to scan non-food-stamp items. According to the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, Maggs would obtain drugs in exchange for allowing friends and acquaintances to come through her register line and leave without paying for merchandise.
Some of the stolen items had a significant value. Maggs is accused of letting individuals leave the store without paying for larger items, including an air conditioner and a mini fridge. “She told Weis and police that she thought her and her group were stealing at least $1,000 worth of merchandise a week,” an investigator told the Sun-Gazette. Officials estimate the total loss could be valued at nearly $52,000.
Maggs has been charged with organized retail theft, retail theft, and receiving property. She has been released on bail and is scheduled for a hearing on February 24.
Unfortunately, these events are not the only employee-theft-related challenges faced by Weis Markets in recent weeks. On February 9, PennLive reported that a Weis Markets location manager was also accused of embezzlement from the company. Lance Lenny Lauriello, 38, reportedly took advantage of his access to cash receipts to steal more than $17,000 from a Bridgeport, PA, store.
The US Retail Fraud Survey 2015, sponsored by Volumatic and published by Retail Knowledge, reported that retailer concern about employee theft of stock/inventory increased from about 18% in 2012 to 38% in 2015. Concern about cash theft has also increased in recent years, albeit by a smaller margin.