While Officer Janzen Franklin was on duty on the evening of March 10th, 2021, he was called to the Linton Walmart for a shoplifter complaint. Upon arrival, Franklin spoke with Walmart’s onsite Asset Protection Specialist, Jordan Bradbury, who had observed a man later identified as Aaron Charles Gardner, age 33, of Jasonville, shoplift several items via various methods.
The Asset Protection Specialist explained he had observed Gardner select several items within the store, including three keychains and two lights from the hardware section of the store. He also picked up a Mossy Oak brand belt priced at $19.97, Brinks brand door locks costing $43.47, Fruit-of-the-Loom brand sleep pants for $11.88, an Outdoor Product backpack at $29.83, as well as a Nirvana T-shirt tagged at $7.86. After selecting these items, the suspect made his way to the apparel department, then took the price tags from the less expensive items and placed them on the more expensive ones. For example, Gardner took the labels from the keychains and placed them on the sleep pants and T-shirt, Bradbury explained.
After re-tagging the items, Gardner went to the self check-out line and used the barcode from the lights for the backpack and door locks, he skip scanned the belt, and scanned the sleep pants and Nirvana T-shirt as if they were the less expensive keychains. He then passed all points of sale without rendering full payment to the store. Bradbury said Gardner’s methods were a commonly used way to obtain goods at a discounted price.
When Franklin asked Gardner about the items Walmart reported him to have stolen, Gardner asked for an attorney and he was taken into custody. Security footage of the events was reviewed by Franklin, who remarked they were consistent with Bradbury’s description. In all, Gardner stole $106.03 worth of merchandise.
Upon review, Franklin discovered Gardner had a criminal history, including several past convictions for theft, he noted in the probable cause report he submitted.
The reader is cautioned that allegations are simply that until proven otherwise in a court of law; therefore, the person(s) shown as arrested for the charges listed above should be considered innocent until proven guilty.