Former Deputy Charged In Shoplifting Incidents That Got Target Worker Fired

Yesterday we told you about the Target worker in Virginia who was fired after he reported an alleged shoplifter believed to be a law enforcement officer. Today comes the news that a former sheriff’s deputy has been arrested and charged, while the Target worker remains unemployed.

According to the Washington Post, police charged a 50-year-old Leesburg, VA, man who had been with the Fairfax County sheriff’s office for 20 years until he retired in June, with two counts of petty larceny related to the two alleged shoplifting incidents that led to the employee’s dismissal.

It all began back in May, while the suspect was still working as a deputy. The fired worker, formerly an assets protection specialist, says his supervisor watched the suspect steal a tube of toothpaste by putting into a bag of items that were already paid for. The supervisor reportedly felt uncomfortable notifying the police because they believed the suspect was himself a cop.

The since-fired employee says they then spoke to a store manager who said he personally knew the man in the video. A decision was made to wait for the suspect to return to the store.

Eleven days later, on May 27, the employee learned from his supervisor that the deputy had come back to the store that day. This time, video allegedly showed the man leaving the store without paying for half the items in his cart.

The employee says it was the supervisor that contacted the Leesburg police, but he was the one who actually went to the station, where he provided officers with high-resolution color photos of the suspect and, later, the suspect’s name, which he’d learned from his manager.

The employee, who maintains that he did nothing out of the ordinary, was first suspended for two days and then fired — on the same day the deputy retired — for “gross misconduct” for allegedly failing to notify his superiors (even though it was his boss who called the police) or fill out proper paperwork before contacting police.

The Leesburg police had the information on the alleged shoplifter for more than a month, but it was only on Monday — after the original Post story had been published — that Target notified the cops of its intentions to pursue charges.

Police served warrants on the former deputy at his home on Monday night. He was booked and released on a $5,000 bond, and now faces a court date of Aug. 12.

So the suspect has been arrested, and the store has pressed charges, but Target apparently still thinks the fired employee deserves to sit on the unemployment line.

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