DA: Thief stole merchandise to sell in own store • Brooklyn Paper

DA: Thief stole merchandise to sell in own store

Talk about passing your savings on to customers.

District Attorney Charles Hynes announced the indictment of a Brownsville resident on Wednesday, alleging the Brooklyn man routinely pilfered the Long Island TJ Maxx where he worked, and then sold the ill-gotten merchandise from his own East Flatbush storefront at discount prices — including a $129.99 pair of sneakers he sold to investigators for $50.

“Many people dream of starting their own business, but almost all realize that this takes time, hard work, and money for inventory. But Cornell Poyser … didn’t want to wait. So, he found a quicker way,” said Hynes.

Authorities were tipped to Poyser’s alleged thievery after the clothing retailer conducted an audit of its Oceanside, Long Island, franchise earlier this year, where the Brownsville resident worked as an assistant manager.

The investigation yielded evidence of impropriety after auditors discovered the store’s sales records didn’t match up with its inventory, and TJ Maxx assigned private investigators to monitor the Long Island franchise and find the thief.

Using surveillance footage compiled over the course of several weeks, the TJ Maxx sleuths discovered that Poyser, on several occasions, had waited until the store was closed and vacant, before looting merchandise off of store shelves, and loading it into a minivan he’d parked out back, according to Hynes.

“Over time, he systematically stole inventory by simply backing up his van to the TJ Maxx after closing and removing what he wanted,” said the DA.

Later, on July 28 and Aug. 3, the private eyes followed Poyser to a Church Avenue storefront in East Flatbush following one of his late night escapades, and said they saw the assistant manager unloading stolen merchandise.

The case was soon handed over to the Brooklyn DA’s office, which referred the case to their Special Investigation’s Unit and the Rackets Division.

On Aug. 6, investigators working for Hynes went to Poyser’s store posing as shoppers, where they found a pair of shoes that had a partial TJ Maxx price sticker attached, which read $129.99, but they were able to purchase the shoes for the extreme discounted price of $50.

Two days later, investigators allegedly caught Poyser in the act of stealing $8,800 worth of stolen TJ Maxx merchandise, and police slapped the cuffs of the Brownsville man.

Poyser now stands accused of stealing a grand total of $130,000 worth of apparel from the store, and could face up to 15-years in prison if convicted, according to the DA. Attempts to reach Poyser’s public defender for comment were unsuccessful.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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