A Rahway man who belonged to the Union County Police Department has been found guilty of using his position to commit a string of small thefts at department stores, the Union County Prosecutor's Office said Friday.
Blake Clay, 36, was convicted on charges of theft, theft-by-deception and official misconduct. He is scheduled to be sentenced in November, when he faces up to five years in prison and a permanent ban from public employment in New Jersey.
Clay used counterfeit barcodes to lower the prices of items he purchased at department stores in Clark, Edison and Woodbridge in 2016. On more than 10 occasions, Clay paid $1.50 to $4.50 for items that actually cost anywhere from $15.99 to $39.99.
Clay, who was earning a salary of $83,000, stole a total of more than $600 from the stores, authorities said.
Clay initially visited local Walmart department stores to carry out the scheme, but when confronted by a store employee on one occasion, he signed an agreement admitting to inappropriate conduct and promised not to enter any other Walmart locations nationwide. He then began pulling the scam at Target stores, often while wearing his uniform, authorities said.
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