MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – A day after a 63-year-old employee was booked on theft charges he was once again ringing up purchases behind the counter at the North Memphis Market & Deli on Vollintine.
"I had no idea," said one customer.
She never suspected merchandise purchased there may have been stolen. It's an accusation that prompted a raid Tuesday by the Shelby County Sheriff's Office and ATF.
"It is a problem, has been a problem, and probably will continue to be a problem in this city," said SCSO spokesman Chip Washington.
The raid came after investigators say the store employee bought $500 worth of cigarettes presented by a confidential informant as stolen but actually donated by Kroger. Kroger stores have suffered numerous high-volume thefts.
"And he actually asked the confidential informant are these stolen items?" said Washington. "So, he wanted to make sure they were."
A manager inside the store claimed the individual employee acted on his own.
"I had no idea as to what was going on," said Akeila Alasadi. "I got a call and here I am now figuring out what step to take. But my lawyer is on the case."
Investigators hope others who may deal in stolen stuff heed the warning of this latest raid.
"Will they?" said Washington. "Probably not."
Officers also found 97 cans of baby formula during the raid that had been stolen from a Kroger store.