NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A TJ Maxx assistant manager from Brooklyn has been arrested for allegedly stealing items from the national retailer and selling them at his own store.
Prosecutors announced the arrest of Cornell Poyser, 40, Wednesday afternoon on charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and possession of burglar’s tools.
As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, it takes time and effort to start a business.
“Many people dream of starting their own business…[but Poyser] didn’t want to wait, so he found a creative but quite illegal way,” Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said. “Stocked, top to bottom with TJ Maxx merchandise.”
Poyser worked at the TJ Maxx in Oceanside on Long Island. Prosecutors said Poyser was caught on video loading his minivan full of clothes, luggage, shoes, perfume and other goods.
“He opened his own store in Brooklyn and stocked it with inventory that he stole from the Oceanside TJ Maxx which he managed. Over time, he systematically stole inventory by simply backing up his van to the TJ Maxx after closing and removing what he wanted,” said Hynes.
The items all wound up at Poyser’s East Flatbush shop, prosecutors said.
TJ Maxx conducted an audit of the store, which found that the store’s sales volume was far below the inventory being shipped to the store. The national chain then assigned internal investigators to look into the issue, which brought the alleged theft to light.
Prosecutors said an undercover investigator went in to the shop and bought some shoes, Silverman reported.
“It had a portion of a TJ Maxx price sticker attached to it,” Hynes said. “TJ Maxx price was $129, our detective paid $50.”
“Seemed as though everything was from TJ Maxx, even the racks that was storing the clothing,” said the DA’s Rackets Division bureau chief, Joseph DiBenedetto.
Prosecutors said a device used to remove security tags was missing from the Oceanside store, and found in the basement of Poyser’s Brooklyn shop.
In all, prosecutors estimate that the merchandise found in the minivan and in the Brooklyn store totaled $130,000.
Poyser could face additional charges and authorities are looking into whether Poyser paid sales tax on the items he sold at his East Flatbush store.
If convicted, Poyser faces up to 15 years in prison.
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