Police Officer Fired for Lying about Letting Shoplifters Go

A local police officer was fired last month after an internal affairs investigation concluded that he repeatedly lied about his failure to arrest shoplifting suspects at the local Walmart despite requests from store personnel that he do so — and committed several other violations of the department’s conduct code.

Police Chief William Darby fired Officer Zachary Veilleux of Glastonbury on October 6 after a detailed internal affairs investigation of his handling of three shoplifting cases that occurred August 23 at the Walmart store at 420 Buckland Hills Drive.

The probe stemmed from a complaint the Police Department received Aug. 24 from the email address of a Walmart loss-prevention employee, Angel Rivera, although investigators later learned that the complaint had been typed by a different employee in the same department, Krystal Lleras, according to the internal affairs report.

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The complaint said Walmart policy is to pursue charges in any case in which the value of the stolen property exceeds $25. It said Veilleux had refused to make arrests in the three cases the day before even though the property was worth more than $100 in each case.

Although the complaint dealt specifically with the August 23 incidents, it said that wasn’t the first time Veilleux had refused to make arrests in cases Walmart wanted prosecuted…

The investigator quoted Lleras as saying in an interview with police that Veilleux’s behavior “had given the Manchester Police Department the reputation of not wanting to ‘do their job’ in terms of arresting shoplifters.”

The investigator also quoted a fellow officer as saying that her reaction to Veilleux’s failure to make an arrest in a “large dollar” shoplifting incident at Walmart in July was that “he was not doing his job, and it reflected poorly on her and on the department in general.”

Despite having filed the complaint, Lleras told the investigator that she wasn’t trying to “snitch” on Veilleux but was frustrated and confused about his behavior in shoplifting cases.

She described Rivera as also very frustrated with Veilleux but added that he “was nervous about making a complaint.” She said she filed the complaint at a time when she knew she would be leaving the job in a few days to “give a voice to the loss prevention associates at Walmart…”  Journal Inquirer

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