Here’s the story of a guy who had to learn the hard way that “your friend who works at Lowe’s and says he can get you everything 1/2 off” is a liar and a criminal.
We take you to the quiet Philadelphia suburb of Upper Moreland, PA where Eric W. Johnson is accused of stealing $28,000 worth of merchandise. Mr. Johnson was stealing all sorts of expensive stuff (examples include a $900 Troybilt Pony lawn tractor, a $1,099 John Deere lawn tractor, and six charcoal grills costing $169 each) and selling the items to friends for 1/2 off. He explained that he was “using his employee discount” to buy the items. Right. He even brought his unwitting accomplices to the store to help him shoplift.
Johnston was arrested March 21 for retail theft after store loss prevention employees, who had suspected him of stealing, caught him trying to remove a pallet with $1,033 worth of merchandise on it.
Employees saw Johnston talking to Bryan T. Gordon, 36, of Upper Moreland, in the store and then later take the pallet to Gordon’s truck, which was parked near the contractors’ entrance, said police.
Both Johnston and Gordon were detained, and police said they admitted that they intended to steal the items. Gordon was also charged with retail theft.
But Gordon paints a different story. He says he never knew Johnston was stealing from the store and had no intentions of stealing anything himself.
Gordon says Johnston, whom he knew from sometimes doing landscape work on his property, had asked if he could bring his truck to Lowes to pick up some heavy items Johnston had. Johnston also told Gordon that he could use his employee discount so Gordon could buy some bathroom tiling for half off the price.
“I thought everything was on the up and up,” said Gordon. “This was poor judgment on my part.”
As Johnston was about to load a skid of merchandise, including the tiling, into Gordon’s truck, loss prevention employees came out and grabbed both of them.
“I’m embarrassed about the whole thing. I’m just sick to my stomach,” said Gordon, who said he tried to explain the situation to police.
We feel bad for this poor gullible guy. How embarrassing! We hope the judge goes easy on him and throws the book at the Lowe’s employee. Do you think he’s telling the truth? Or are we too nice?