LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin Police officers arrested a 22-year-old former Polk's employee on a felony theft charge Monday after an investigation revealed that he had allegedly been voiding transactions and pocketing the money to the tune of $1,719.75.
Justin Elisha Welch, of Lufkin, is still being held in the Angelina county Jail on a state-jail felony charge of theft between $1,500 and $20,000. No bail has been set at this time.
According to the arrest affidavit, a Brookshire Brothers/Polk's Pick It Up loss prevention specialist met with a Lufkin Police Detective on Dec. 16 about an internal theft. The loss prevention specialist said that the suspect was an employee at Polk's Pick It Up No. 19, which is located at 103 N. John Redditt Drive and that he had been working there since August 2013.
After the store started experiencing an inventory shortage, the loss prevention specialist took a closer look and discovered that Welch was voiding a large number of cash sales. Store surveillance videos allegedly revealed that Welch would check customers out. Then, after they left the store, he allegedly voided the transactions and took the money.
The LPD detective was given the surveillance video footage of all of the suspect's voided transactions from Nov. 10 to Dec. 9, along with the electronic journal report. In addition, the loss prevention specialist provided an audio CD which contained a recording of an interview in which Welch allegedly admitted to voiding the purchases and taking the cash.
When the LPD detective contacted Welch by phone and recorded the conversation, the suspect allegedly admitted to taking the cash from voided sales and said he took the money because he was having financial issues.