“As a result of local retailers’ rapid response to detective’s requests for assistance, one investigation has led to 20 retail theft cases being solved in the bay area, said Sheriff Grady Judd.” “Our associates at Target and Wal-Mart demonstrated how successful this partnership is. This was a win for everyone, except the thieves.”
In September 2013, detectives with the newly established Polk County Sheriff’s Office Organized Retail Crime Unit received information that 35-year-old Kristine Hackett, DOB 12/20/1977, 7756 Jordan Heights Drive, Lakeland, was selling stolen property on the website “Amazon” for profit.
Detectives learned Hackett was buying the stolen property from “boosters” who were stealing the property from Wal-Mart located at 5800 US Highway 98 North, Lakeland, and Target located at 3570 Harden Boulevard, Lakeland.
On September 26, 2013, detectives, acting in an undercover capacity, arranged to meet at Hackett’s residence to sell “stolen” property. At Hackett’s Jordan Heights’ home, they met 25-year-old Timothy Sizemore, 1353 Meade Street Flatwoods, Kentucky, who advised Hackett wasn’t home. Sizemore invited the detectives inside saying he would call Hackett to find out what price she was willing to pay for the property they had to “sell.”
Hackett agreed to pay $80.00 for a Shark Sonic Duo Floor and Carpet Cleaner valued at $243.96 and several blue ray DVDs valued at $131.56. Sizemore told the undercover detectives he would pay $40 now and Hackett would provide the remaining $40 at a later time. In a conversation with Sizemore during the “sell,” Sizemore showed the undercover detectives how to circumvent the security locks at one retail store removing merchandise like a “piece of cake.” Sizemore bragged to detectives he would gladly have them accompany him to see him demonstrate his techniques.
On September 30, 2013, Sizemore was arrested on a Kentucky Fugitive from Justice Warrant. During a post Miranda interview, Sizemore told detectives he and “several other people” stole property from local retail stores then sold the stolen property to Hackett who kept the property at her residence until she could sell the items on Amazon for a profit.
Even after Sizemore’s arrest, Hackett brokered with one of her boosters for another purchase, admitting to the booster, she was “nervous” about Sizemore’s arrest.
On 10-3-2013, PCSO detectives executed a search warrant at Hackett’s residence. During the search of the residence a Shark Sonic Duo Floor and Carpet Cleaner was observed in a northeast room, as well as several blue ray DVDs. Hackett called this room “the Amazon room.” The cleaner and DVDs were confirmed to be the same items Hackett had arranged the purchase of through Sizemore on September 26th with the undercover detectives. Also located in the residence was a ledger used by the suspects to track what items would be stolen.
Post Miranda, Hackett admitted to selling the property on Amazon to make a profit. Hackett told detectives Sizemore brought her so much property she could not keep up with him so she referred him to another buyer.
Hackett was charged with Director of and Dealing in Stolen Property (F-1), Grand Theft (F-3), Possession of Meth and Drug Paraphernalia (F-3).
As a result of this investigation, 20 retail theft cases from Target, Wal-Mart, Sam’s, Barnes and Noble stores in Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk Counties have been solved.
The investigation is ongoing.
Timothy Sizemore 05/14/1988, was arrested on September 26th on the Out of State Warrant of three counts of Organized Retail Crime. Sizemore, currently in the Polk County Jail, faces charges of Dealing in Stolen Property in this investigation as well.
Laura Samantha Messer DOB 11/05/1989, 1025 W. Socrum Loop Road, Lot 7, Lakeland, was also identified as Hackett’s associate, or “booster.” Messer was arrested on September 26, 2013, and remains in the Polk County jail for Possession of Drugs, and an out of state warrant for Unlawful taking/Shoplifting.
These are the first arrests from the newly created PCSO Organized Retail Crime Unit.