Police: Worker culprit in theft

COVINGTON - A Covington Wal-Mart employee has been arrested and charged with theft by taking, according to the Covington Police Department.

Raven Nichols Smith, 31, of 207 Emory Way, Oxford, was arrested following a report from a Wal-Mart employee in the Asset Protection Department.

The employee told CPD officers that officials had discovered the register where Smith was stationed was short of cash. It was at that point that video was reviewed allegedly showing Smith handing over large amounts of bills on several occasions to the same black man.

According to a CPD incident report completed by Officer J.C. English, the video recordings show Smith at her register Aug. 9 when the man comes through her line and starts to pay for a bottle of bleach. She is presented with a $1 bill.

"Mrs. Smith gives this male a large amount of bills back, but the receipt shows no cash back," English said in the report. "This male gives Mrs. Smith another $1 bill and she gives him some more change."

The video tape also shows the same man coming back in later in the day and the scenario is repeated, the report stated.

Another video shows the same man coming into the store Aug. 16 when the report alleges the subterfuge takes place a third time, but on this occasion, the man had a small child with him and diapers and baby wipes were supposed to have been purchased.

The total loss to Wal-Mart is reported by the CPD as $780.25.

Detective D.J. Seals said the case is still under investigation. He said the man involved in the scam is still unidentified.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.