Montgomery police employee charged with shoplifting from Home Depot
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.
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
Washington Post Editors
January 14, 2010; 9:55 AM ET
Categories: Dan Morse , Montgomery
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