Police in Gwinnett County, Georgia, say they have arrested a 19-year-old man who is accused of stealing more than $980,000 from a Kroger store in Duluth, a northeastern suburb of Atlanta.
Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Collin Flynn said Tre Brown, 19, was arrested after corporate employees from Kroger noticed fraudulent transactions and contacted police, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. Brown is accused of stealing more than $980,000 over a two-week period from the Kroger store on Steve Reynolds Boulevard in Duluth.
According to police, Brown created more than 40 returns for non-existent items in December and January. Those returns, which ranged in price from $75 to more than $87,000, were then placed on several credit cards, investigators said.
Police said Brown used the stolen money to buy two cars, clothes, guns and new shoes. Prior to his arrest, the teen reportedly totaled a Chevrolet Camaro that he bought, Flynn said.
Police said Brown, who they believe worked at the fuel center, stole the money while an employee tasked with flagging fraudulent transactions was on vacation for two weeks.
A “large sum of money” was returned to the grocery chain following the teen’s arrest, but it wasn’t immediately clear how much was recovered.
In an emailed statement to the Journal Constitution, a Kroger spokeswoman thanked the Gwinnett County Police Department for their assistance on the case, but declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.
Cincinnati-based Kroger employs nearly half a million associates who serve 9 million-plus customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. Kroger's Atlanta Division has around 184 stores. The company is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.