Polk County Sheriff’s Office Organized Retail Crime Unit deputies, in conjunction with Winn Dixie Organized Retail Crime investigators, arrested 7 Employees (5 adults and 2 juveniles) involved in an internal scheme to defraud resulting in an estimated $6,000 loss.
“We have developed a great relationship with retailers in Polk County to fight theft, however it occurs. Whether they are dishonest employees or shoplifters, we are going to hold thieves accountable who steal from retailers and drive up prices for honest customers.” Grady Judd, Sheriff
Management at the Winn-Dixie Supermarket (1305 Ariana Street Lakeland) discovered a series of cash shortages in October and November of this year. Investigation revealed that employees were knowingly re-using Coinstar kiosk receipts turned in to cashiers in order to steal cash from the stores.
Customers use a Coinstar kiosk located inside the Winn-Dixie Supermarket to convert loose U.S. currency coins into a receipt (minus a service fee), which is then given to a cashier who provides U.S. currency in the amount of the receipt to the customer. Cashiers are supposed to mark through the receipt after being paid and place it inside the register so the transaction could be accounted for when the register drawer is closed and counted. Winn-Dixie asset protection team members conducted an internal investigation and discovered seven employees were involved in a scheme to use the Coinstar receipts multiple times to steal money from the store.
Through the course of the investigation it was determined the following Winn-Dixie employees conducted fraudulent transactions:
Demetrice Paulisaint, DOB 10/10/1988, 702 East Parker Street, Lakeland, Florida, (conducted thirty-five fraudulent Coinstar transactions)
Brittany Priest , DOB 08-03-1994, 1500 W. Highlands Lot #212 Lakeland, Florida (conducted four fraudulent Coinstar transactions)
Deion Sanders, DOB 07-04-1995, 501 Hartsell Avenue #106, Lakeland, Florida (conducted thirty-four fraudulent Coinstar transactions)
Tyler Martin, DOB 02/13/1996, (JUVENILE) 1830 Marjorie Street, Lakeland, Florida (conducted eighteen fraudulent Coinstar transactions)
Kiana Jenkins, DOB 12/12/1994, 1919 10th Street W. #14, Lakeland, Florida (conducted twenty-four fraudulent Coinstar transactions)
Javari Collins, DOB 11/5/1995, 1051 Snowdown W., Lakeland, Florida (conducted thirty-four fraudulent Coinstar transactions)
Damesha Jones, DOB 12/3/1996, (JUVENILE) 2527 Kyle Street, Lakeland, Florida (conducted twenty-two fraudulent Coinstar transactions)
All have been charged with Obtaining Property By Fraud (Under $20,000) (F-3). Video footage of the fraudulent transactions has been collected. All seven defendants confessed to deputies to engaging in the fraud and depriving the victim (Winn-Dixie Supermarkets) of the money.