PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Police stopped a Sam’s Club worker on the Treasure Coast.
Police in Port St. Lucie says that an employee at a store on Gatlin Boulevard was part of a plan in which she used $60,000 worth of goods from the store to hide illegal transactions.
Police say that 32-year-old Keondra Breland from Fort Pierce made 36 fake returns to the store in the last three months. She put more than $100,000 onto bank cards in the names of her family.
She was caught on tape putting in a stolen code from a shop manager so she could make false purchases.
“This is all about greed, and it’s about doing it over and over again,” PSLPD Acting Assistant Chief Marc DiMeo said of the situation. “She did it once, she did it twice, but we got involved, we were able to stop the activity, and she’s been arrested and charged with serious crimes.”
Police say that between February and April, Breland scanned the barcodes of expensive things that never left the store. She then put more than $103,000 worth of returns on her and her family’s bank cards.
“This was a trusted employee who stole a PIN from a manager and used it to make fake returns on her debit card and the debit cards of her family members,” DiMeo said. “She took expensive electronics and equipment off the shelves and put a fake return payment on the debit cards.”
Officers caught Breland, and he now faces three criminal charges: big theft of more than $100,000, a plan to defraud more than $100,000, and theft of personal information.
DiMeo says Breland didn’t act like he was sorry. Even though it took a few months for the chain’s loss prevention team to figure out this plan, he says the store’s system worked as it should have, catching this activity and telling the cops.
“You needed the manager’s code to do it, and they have internal surveillance and loss prevention, so there is hope that there is a checks and balances system,” DiMeo said. “But again, this was an elaborate plan that was put together over several months.”