Polk County detention deputy arrested for stealing merchandise from Walmart, deputies say

44-year-old John Reed resigned upon his arrest

John Reed,, former Polk County detention deputy, facing charges of theft (Polk County Sheriff's Office)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday that a detention deputy faces theft theft charges after stealing merchandise from a Walmart.

Deputies said they arrested 44-year-old John Reed after they say he failed to pay for merchandise by intentionally not scanning items in the self-checkout lane between Nov. 4 and Dec. 3. at the Walmart located on Church Avenue North in Mulberry.

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A Walmart Loss Prevention Officer observed the most recent incident on Dec. 3 and confronted Reed while he was attempting to leave the store with two hover boards, two hover carts, and a Christmas projection light, according to a news release.

The loss prevention officer observed Reed on the closed circuit television failing to scan the items and then passing all points of sale, deputies said. Reed accompanied the officer to the loss prevention office, where the officer used store security footage to review the history of Reed’s transactions, which deputies say were all captured by the store’s video surveillance system.

The release states that Reed committed thefts on eight prior occasions with the total amount of merchandise over $575.

Reed was hired in 2004 detention support specialist and became a detention deputy in 2005. He left the sheriff’s office in 2012 and was rehired as a detention deputy in July 2021, deputies said.

Deputies said Reed resigned his position with the county upon arrest was booked into the Polk County Jail on Dec. 3 and released after posting $4,500 bond.

The PCSO said its Organized Retail Crime Unit is conducting an investigation to determine if Reed committed other crimes and if more charges would be pending.

Reed faces charges of eight counts petit theft, one count each obtaining property by fraud, gross fraud and petit theft $100-$750.

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About the Author:

Jacob joined ClickOrlando.com in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.