A man who had been stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of diapers at Stop & Shop Stores was arrested at his home in Bushwick on Thursday.
Officials say that Kevin Hargrove, 24, was able to use the self-checkout lane at the store to purchase the diapers, but would switch the bar code labels on the diapers for items costing only 99 cents. Then Hargrove took the diapers to resell on the street at a discounted price, but for much more than 99 cents.
“This is a man, who according to his own statement to detectives has hit every Stop & Shop in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut” said prosecutor Diane Peress, chief of the Nassau County District Attorney’s Economic Crimes Bureau. “We know that he’s done this over 100 times within the last half a year.”
Nassau County prosecutors say that there is a growing problem of thieves that use the self-checkout lines to commit their crimes by buying high-priced items using lower priced bar codes.
“UPC theft has grown exponentially in Nassau County and in the suburbs in last two years. You can basically walk out undetected because all the machine is detecting is the UPS – the bar-code” said Diane Peress, Chief of the Nassau DA Economic Crime Bureau.
Hargrove was charged in Nassau County with grand larceny and falsifying business records. He pleaded guilty and also told the police that he was using the stolen diapers also for his own small children.