GREENVILLE, AL (WSFA) - When some of the registers started coming up short at the end of the day at the Greenville Walmart, it caught the eye of the loss prevention team.
It soon became clear that the missing money was the result of an inside job.
Greenville police say from over the span of ten days, from May 6-16, several cashiers were adding money to the prepaid debit cards they receive their paychecks on, as if they were crediting money to a gift card.
"Once we received the tape, it was obvious that they were using those same cards, swiping them at their cash register and adding amounts up to $100 onto the card and not paying for it. It wasn't part of their paycheck. It wasn't hard at that point to figure out what they were doing," explained Captain Justin Lovvorn, commander of Greenville Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division. "They were adding certain money amounts to the card, but were not reimbursing the store for that amount."
Lovvorn says Lakendra Hunter, 21, of Greenville, charged more than $2,000 to her card while Maya Rudolph, 20, of Fort Deposit, charged more than $400 and Brandon Lawson, 21, of Georgiana, had almost $600 in charges on his card.
They were arrested this week and charged with theft after being questioned by investigators.
"We brought them in and got statements from them. After we interviewed them, they admitted to what they had done," said Capt. Lovvorn. "We also found where some of the employees had taken merchandise from the store without paying for it as well. All three have been terminated from Walmart as a result."
Greenville police have worked other recent internal thefts at Walmart. Other employees were arrested for taking merchandise from the store that came in as part of the inventory.
"They would try to put it aside and slip out the back with it," Lovvorn said.
Loss prevention officers caught it during an audit and security footage was reviewed, leading to the arrests.
Other workers were caught pretending to have items scanned at the registers.
"We've had some instances where an employee would come up and probably a friend of theirs was working at the cash register and would not ring up some of the items that were brought through the line," Lovvorn said.
But customers or employees looking to break the law at the store should beware, officials say. The store has a good camera system and record of what's in the inventory, and what's not.
"A lot of the crimes that happen there are caught on tape and it's just a matter of time before it's brought to the attention of loss prevention or us," Captain Lovvorn added. "Once we are made aware of it, it's pretty easy to solve at that point because of the system they have in place. Walmart can go back and pull up receipts and video and match it up with what items were properly scanned and what items were bagged up and not paid for."