Longtime Reed's Sporting Goods employee accused of stealing $140,000 worth of merchandise
A Little Falls man has been charged in two counties for receiving stolen property that is believed to have been stolen from Reed's Sporting Goods in Walker.
David Earl Gregoire, 42, of Little Falls, was charged last week with felony receiving stolen property in both Beltrami and Morrison counties.
Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Reed's Sporting Goods reported possible employee theft to law enforcement in late May, according to the criminal complaint filed against Gregoire in Morrison County. The owner of Reed's reported that several items that the store sells have been showing up for sale on eBay, an online auction site.
Listed for sale by someone using the name "mrlatebid," e-Bay's fraud unit reported that the items were being sold by Gregoire, according to the complaint.
Reed's told law enforcement that Gregoire is a long-term employee and one of his duties was to transport items from Reed's warehouses to its retail stores, according to the complaint. He had "complete and unfettered access to Reed's warehouses and merchandise."
The Beltrami County complaint states that Gregoire was a family friend of Reed's current owners and was employed part-time.
The Little Falls Police Department executed a search warrant at Gregoire's residence in Little Falls and found more than $50,000 worth of property believed to be Reed's, according to the complaint. Clothing, sleeping bags, shotguns, rifles and scopes were among the items found, and some were in shipping boxes sent to Reed's stores. Other items had Reed's pricing stickers on them.
Beltrami County officers meanwhile obtained permission from a homeowner to search her residence on Roosevelt Road as they believed Gregoire may also have been storing stolen merchandise at that residence.
Beltrami County found more than $50,000 worth of merchandise believed to belong to Reed's in the Roosevelt Road residence, according to the criminal complaint from Beltrami County. Among the items found were eight firearms, some of which still had Reed's inventory tags on them.
According to the Morrison County complaint, Gregoire admitted in a taped statement on June 6 that he took the merchandise from Reed's without the knowledge or permission of its owners. He said he sold the items on eBay and kept the money for himself.
Documentation provided by eBay's fraud unit showed that Gregoire has been selling sporting goods items on eBay for several years, according to the Morrison County complaint.
The owner of Reed's estimates that Gregoire was stolen about $140,000 in merchandise throughout the last five years, according to the Morrison County complaint.