A retired Fairfax County deputy was charged Monday with two counts of petit larceny after police said he shoplifted items from a Leesburg Target in May.
Robert H. Palmer Jr., 50, of Leesburg, came to Leesburg Police headquarters to accept warrants against him and was taken before a magistrate where he was released on a $5,000 unsecured bond, according to Leesburg Police reports.
Palmer has a court date of Aug. 12 at 10 a.m. in the Loudoun County General District Court.
The incident caused a Target loss prevention employee to lose his job, a decision “made by Target with no discussion or knowledge by [Leesburg Police],” according to the Leesburg report.
The investigation began when Dallas Northington, a loss prevention employee for Target for nearly eight years, complained to Leesburg Police about the theft, according to the Washington Post.
“The report was documented. However, the reporting loss prevention officer did not witness the actual theft,” Leesburg Lt. Jeff Dube said in a statement.
But the Associated Press is reporting Northington provided Leesburg Police with surveillance footage of the thefts.
Days after Northington’s report, the suspect retired from the sheriff’s office and Northington was fired. Northington says Target officials told him he violated procedure by not filling out paperwork before contacting police.
Northington says store supervisors recognized the suspect.
Dube said following the complaint the suspect was positively identified as a Fairfax Sheriff’s Office employee.
On May 30, Leesburg Police began communicating with members of the Fairfax Sheriff’s Office.
Leesburg Police were notified Monday by Target officials that they would like to move forward with criminal charges.
Northington told The Washington Post that he’s considering his legal options. He and his attorney, Declan Leonard, could not immediately be reached for comment.
A Target spokeswoman says Target conducted an investigation and doesn’t believe there’s any merit to Northington’s claims that he was wrongfully terminated.