Polk County, FL: A former police officer in Haines City, Florida, has been charged with multiple counts of retail petit theft after allegedly stealing from a Walmart store. The incident, described by Police Chief Greg Goreck as “deeply troubling,” unfolded on Saturday evening in Mulberry, Florida.
48-year-old David Griffin, who had been employed as a police officer, resigned from his position following his arrest. He was apprehended alongside 28-year-old Shelbi Dubose, who is facing four counts of the same crime. Security at the Walmart discovered their attempts to leave without paying for all their items.
According to a press release, an employee noticed Griffin placing unpaid merchandise into shopping bags. After alerting him to the situation and asking Griffin to scan the items, the employee walked away, only to find that Griffin and Dubose continued to “skip scan” and disregard the normal scanning process. The total value of the unscanned items amounted to $343.22.
After conducting a more extensive examination, it was revealed that this was not a one-off event. Walmart staff found four similar thefts on previous dates, with three of those involving Dubose. Griffin’s connection to Dubose remains unclear.
Both Griffin and Dubose had initially scanned and paid for $207.72 worth of merchandise before attempting to leave the store. Surveillance footage from earlier transactions, accessed through Griffin’s debit card records, confirmed the other thefts. The incidents occurred on October 15, October 29, November 10, and November 26.
In response to the arrest, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd expressed his disappointment, stating, “It is always disappointing to me when someone in law enforcement commits a crime and betrays the trust of their community.” Sheriff Judd further emphasized the swift action taken by Griffin in resigning after his arrest. Judd said that the police department does not tolerate that type of behavior and that if Griffin had not resigned, he would have been let go.
Haines City Police Chief Greg Goreck echoed Sheriff Judd’s sentiments, underscoring the department’s commitment to integrity and ethical conduct. Chief Goreck assured the public that this incident did not reflect the values embraced by the department and highlighted their “zero tolerance” stance on such actions.
The former officer’s arrest raises questions about the trustworthiness of individuals in positions of authority and the impact of their actions on their communities.