COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTRF) — Four suspects are still at large after police said a store lost over $1,500.00 worth of products from theives that used a tool-and-scan trick, according to a report by WCMH.
On November 20, at approximately 8:35 p.m., at the Meijer grocery store at 5050 N. Hamilton Rd., four people walked into the store and picked out a car seat in a box, but removed the car seat.
The empty car seat box was then filled with other products from inside the store, according to the Columbus Division of Police.
One of the suspects allegedly had an Alpha key, which unlocks secured products that are commonly higher-priced in many stores.
Police investigating the crime said the key was used to unlock more merchandise sealed with pegs, and added the items to the car seat box. Security cameras captured photos of the four suspects as they moved through the grocery store.
After the car seat box was filled, the alleged suspects took off the price barcode and swapped it with a cheaper product’s tag from inside the store.
The employee at the store, rang up the car seat box, unknowing that the box didn’t contain the the car seat. Police said the group then paid $39.99, instead of $89.99 for the car seat.
The assessed value of the stolen goods inside the car seat box was $979.82, according to police and store employees.
The suspects had another cart with two TVs inside of it and paid for them. Columbus Division of Police did not say if the group had used another barcode trick to pay for these 2 TV’s or if they paid full price.
But then, the group loaded a third TV worth $649.99 onto their cart with the other merchandise from the check out and walked out of the store without paying for it.
In total, CDP said the group stole $1,629.81 worth of Meijer goods.
After spending approximately an hour in the store, the group walked out into the parking lot and left in two separate cars. Security cameras also captured the vehicles the suspects left in and put timestamps on the photos taken.
Police are asking anyone with information on the suspects’ identities to email or call one of their detectives at 614-645-4254.