WEST BEND -- A 19-year-old West Bend man is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from his job at Pick 'N Save in West Bend, as well as trying to break into another store for cigarettes. The teen's actions were so bold, it may have been happening right in front of your face.
The signs are still in both the front and back of the Cigarette Outlet on West Washington in West Bend: evidence of an attempted break in that employee, Karen Corren, says didn't work out.
"You could see where someone had tried to pry," said Corren. "Our owners made sure the store was wired internally."
Corren says the thief tried cutting the power to turn off the surveillance system, which only put the business next door in the dark -- then left evidence.
"He left behind a backpack full of stuff. A backpack full of things. His name's in there," said Corren.
Police say 19-year-old Alex Deaton, admitted he wanted to steal cigarettes. Before you think this is a story about a dumb criminal, you may want to hear from the Pick 'N Save down the street.
According to a criminal complaint, Deaton -- who worked as a cashier for months -- has been stealing from the grocery store. Investigators say Deaton punched in fraudulent returns into registers exploiting the store's "Make It Right" policy. From March until July, prosecutors say those returns have added up to as much as $30,000.
"That's a lot of money. Some people don't make that in a year. That's crazy. I'm glad they caught him and I hope the others will learn," said Corren.
A lesson whether the crime is well thought out or a dud, it often leads to the same result: time behind bars.
Investigators say Deaton spent most of the money on gifts for himself, including a new laptop, iPhone, and Apple Watch. When he was arrested he stated, "I messed up and stole a lot money." Now, he's sitting in jail.
Roundy's released the following statement on the case:
“We are aware of the situation at the West Bend store. It is part of an ongoing criminal investigation being handled by the authorities so we have no further information to release at this time. The individual involved is no longer with the company. This is an isolated incident and our customers can be assured our systems are secure.”