What Police Chief Greg Goreck describes as a “deeply troubling” case involves the apprehension of a disgraced Florida police officer on numerous counts of suspected theft.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office officers apprehended 48-year-old David Griffin outside the Mulberry Walmart on Saturday night, and he was subsequently charged with five counts of retail petit theft, as stated in a news release. Along with him, Shelbi Dubose, 28, was arrested and now faces four charges of the same offense.
After his arrest, Griffin resigned as a police officer in Haines City.
A press release stated that on Saturday, an employee at the Walmart in Mulberry saw Griffin putting products into shopping bags without paying for them. Deputies were called to the scene.
Griffin was confronted by an employee who attempted to assist him by bringing his attention to the unscanned products and explaining the problem. But Griffin and Dubose reportedly kept stuffing bags without scanning them after the worker left.
As they attempted to exit the shop, security at Walmart apprehended them.
According to the deputies, Griffin and Dubose scanned and paid for $207.72 worth of stuff but ignored the remaining $343.22 worth.
Deputies said that four separate thefts occurred on October 15, 29, 10, and 26 when Walmart employees reviewed information associated with Griffin’s debit card and reviewed security footage from those transactions. Dubose was involved in three of these thefts.
Griffin’s connection to Dubose is unclear.
According to one estimate, self-checkout terminals currently process more customers’ purchases than any other kind of checkout system in grocery stores. Merchants have challenges while trying to satisfy customers’ demands for self-checkout while also reducing “shrink” (theft).
Using 2.5 million events from 10,000 grocery store locations throughout North America last year—not counting specialized, large box, or department stores—the retail criminal intelligence and loss prevention platform Auror compiled statistics on self-checkout theft. According to statistics, 39% of grocery store thefts happen at the self-checkout lanes.