An employee also stole $1,700 from registers
Cudahy will be losing Kmart soon, but not before the store loses money and merchandise to thieves during its going-out-of-business sale.
Kmart, 6077 S. Packard Ave., has been in business since 1968 but will be closing early this year for good. Before the closure, the store is holding large sales — some apparently not good enough for a few people, however.
Almost adding insult to injury to the failing retail franchise, just a few days apart two groups of people made away with full cartloads of goods without paying. In another case, an employee also stole money and candy from the store.
A 17-year-old employee admitted to taking about $1,700 in cash out of registers, as well as a few candy items, over the last few weeks after he was caught on camera.
According to a police report, the teen was honest and apologetic, saying he stole the money because he lives with his mother in Milwaukee and they are having a hard time financially with household bills.
The teen signed a civil demand notice indicating he would pay restitution to Kmart, the police report said. On Jan. 1, he was arrested, booked, cited and eventually taken to a bus stop to go home.
The first cartful
The other thieves were not employees and got away.
The first cartful was carried out Dec. 23 at 1:10 p.m. where a group of three — two men and one woman — rolled a cart mostly filled with clothes out to a Ford Explorer.
The store manager followed them outside and tried to get photos as they loaded the merchandise. According to the report, one of the men told him to “take all the pictures you want, the car is stolen.”
Police checked the license plate in the photos taken and contacted the owner who told officers her car was recently stolen and she was going to report it. The owner didn’t match any of the descriptions given.
The vehicle had also been used in a retail theft in Greenfield, the report said.
The cartload was estimated to be worth $500.
Both men were described as African American in their late 30’s. One had a medium build and was wearing a black jacket, gray jogging pants and black tennis shoes. The other, the driver, was a heavier man with dreadlocks, black pants and a black hooded sweatshirt.
The woman was described in the report as also African American and in her 30’s, about 5-feet-4-inches tall, thin/medium build with a black hooded coat.
The second cartful
Just a few days later on Dec. 26, two men made away with a cart filled in the electronics department — specifically with a floor-model desktop computer valued at $1,224. The men also placed another unknown electronics item in the cart before making their exit.
According to the report, the store manager was just returning from lunch when he heard the security alarm gate go off. Two customers were quickly exiting and he followed them outside where they loaded the computer and other merchandise into the back of a red Ford F-250 pick-up truck parked in the fire lane.
Both men were described as white. One was in his 50’s, about 6-feet-2-inches tall with a heavy build, long brown hair and he was wearing a red baseball cap with a Wisconsin Badgers logo. He also had on light blue jeans and a black long sleeve shirt.
The second man was in his 30’s or 40’s, about 5-feet-10-inches tall with a medium build and dark hair. He, too, was wearing a baseball cap with the Wisconsin Badgers insignia, a black white plaid coat, blue hooded sweatshirt and light blue jeans, according to the report.
The two men drove off before police arrived and could not be located.
As for the store, The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development said employee separations are expected to begin on or around Jan. 31.
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