Shoplifter of the Month: Undercover perpetrator

Beware the employee impersonator.

A shoplifting suspect who may have impersonated a Lowe’s employee was arrested Oct. 13 after an off-duty police officer became suspicious, according to an article in the Herald-Citizen.

Off-duty police officer Shannon Smith was shopping at a Lowe’s store in Cookeville, Tenn., when she allegedly saw a man take a Paslode cordless nail gun out of the store without paying. She contacted other officers, then watched the suspect leave with another individual in a newer model white Toyota.

Police were able to stop the vehicle based on Smith’s description. An officer allegedly found the nail gun still in its box and five hypodermic syringes. Arrested were the driver, Rainn Wanos Martin, 31, and Brent Lee Hamby, 29, the passenger. Both were cited for shoplifting and for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Lowe’s employees told officers they saw one of the suspects in the store wearing a Lowe’s apron. An employee apron was later found that had been “cut completely in half down the back,” according to the police report.