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Supermarket Worker Stole $1 Million and Bought Cars and Guns, Police Say

A teenage employee stole nearly $1 million from a Kroger supermarket in the metro Atlanta area and then went on a shopping spree for guns, shoes and cars, including a Chevrolet Camaro that he totaled, the authorities said on Thursday.

The employee, Tre Brown, 19, obtained more than 40 refunds on several credit cards for merchandise that he falsely claimed had been returned to a Kroger in Duluth, Ga., the police in Gwinnett County said.

The transactions ranged in value from $75 to more than $87,000, according to the police, who said that the fraud scheme was carried out over two weeks in December and January while a supermarket compliance officer was away.

The fraud was later detected by corporate employees of Kroger, who the police said had contacted them. A large sum of the money was returned after Mr. Brown’s arrest on Jan. 14 on a felony charge of theft by taking, the police said. They said they had no further information on the amount recovered.

Cpl. Collin Flynn, a spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department, said in an email on Thursday that Mr. Brown worked in the supermarket’s fuel center. The items that Mr. Brown claimed had been returned were lottery tickets, Corporal Flynn said, adding that detectives were trying to determine whether the ticket numbers that he provided were for actual tickets or had been fabricated.

It was not immediately clear how many and what type of guns Mr. Brown purchased. In addition to firearms and cars, he bought clothes and shoes with the money that he stole, the police said. No additional information was available about how or when the Camaro was totaled.

Mr. Brown, of Duluth, was released on bond on the same day of his arrest, according to the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office.

No lawyer was listed on the booking records for Mr. Brown, and there was no phone listing for him at the addresses he gave to the authorities.

A booking photo of Tre Brown. A spokesman for the Gwinnett County police said Mr. Brown worked in a Kroger supermarket’s fuel center. Credit…Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office

In a statement, Kroger thanked the police for their assistance but declined to comment further because of the continuing investigation.

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