Mall Security Guard Convicted of Stealing Customer’s Money
A jury convicted a 35-year-old security guard on Thursday for stealing money from a customer's wallet according to the Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.
Eddie Lee Woods, 35, of Flint, was working in loss prevention for Burlington Coat Factory at the Genesee Valley Mall in Flint on July 23, 2012 when a customer left her wallet at the cash register after making a purchase. Video footage from store surveillance cameras showed the cashier taking the wallet to the loss prevention office and turning it in to Woods.
Additional footage showed Woods grabbing a hat from a merchandise display after exiting the office and holding it over his chest. The prosecution argued video captured Woods efforts to conceal the wallet as he walked through the store and toward a trash can where he dropped the wallet. Prior to dropping the wallet in the trash, evidence shown at trial indicated Woods took $300 in cash from the customers wallet.
It was determined that portions of the video had been erased including times when the cashier and Woods were communicating and while they were in the loss prevention office together. Prosecutors argued Woods purposely erased portions of the video in an attempt to cover up his actions.
During an initial interview with Flint Township Police, Woods denied taking the customers money and stated he would never do that because it was his job to put to put people in jail for such things.
In a statement after the conviction, Leyton said "this man was supposed to be protecting store property and employees as well as the safety of customers. Instead, he took advantage of a customer's mistake and exploited it for his own benefit."
Woods was convicted of Larceny in a Building which carries a possible sentence of up to four years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced in Genesee County Circuit Court on April 11th.