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Montgomery police employee charged with shoplifting from Home Depot

Washington Post Editors

In his 15 years at the Montgomery County Police Department, Gary Arter has seen how a lot of people get caught: He is a forensic specialist who goes to crime scenes where he collects evidence for DNA samples, dusts for fingerprints and measures tire tracks, according to a department spokesman.

Now, police say, he has been arrested for allegedly trying to shoplift 15 bundles of firewood from a Home Depot in Germantown on Wednesday night. Arter, 43, of Littlestown, Pa., was charged with misdemeanor theft under $100, and released on personal bond pending trial, police said.

Arter. (Montgomery County Police)

Artermay very well have a different version of events. He couldn't be reached for comment Thursday, and it's unclear if he has hired an attorney yet.

Arter is a civilian employee, police said: He has no arrest powers, and doesn't carry a gun. He has been placed on paid administrative leave pending resolution of his case and an internal department investigation, police said.

The incident began Wednesday evening when a Home Depot security worker saw Arter pushing a cart filled with the firewood toward his vehicle, said Cpl. Dan Friz, a police spokesman. Arter could only produce a receipt for other items he had purchased, totaling less than $5, Friz said. (Bundles of firewood were being sold Thursday for $4.67, a Home Depot employee said over the phone.)

Arter was escorted back to the store. Officers arrived at about 7:45 p.m., and placed him under arrest, police said.

This item has been updated since it was first published.

-- Dan Morse

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 14, 2010; 9:55 AM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse , Montgomery  
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LMFAO! Just goes to show that anyone and everyone could be a thief! I hope he loses his job over this, serves him right! Dumb Arse!

Posted by: joejack65 | January 14, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Was he on some kind of medication? I have a back yard full of firewood he could have taken for free that would have last him all winter.

Posted by: peace4all2 | January 15, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

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