A candidate in the Dec. 4 run-off election was named in a Thursday, Nov. 22, Clinton police report after an incident at Walmart.
In the report, police were called to the store by Walmart loss prevention employees regarding John Galbraith, 47, of Clinton who they stated had tried to shoplift a Fitbit electronic device from the store.
Galbraith, a local businessman, is a candidate for Van Buren County Coroner in the Dec. 4 run-off election.
In a Monday interview, Galbraith said he had been advised not to issue a statement on the matter.
“I have to give a ‘no comment,’” he said.
In the police report, and officer was called to Walmart after one of the store’s loss prevention employees saw Galbraith in the store’s electronics area, then “… put a Fitbit in the child seat area of the cart,” noticing that, “he had his jacket over the item.”
As she watched, she told the officer, she saw Galbraith go over to another section of the store, then others, working to remove the Fitbit from its package, ultimately succeeding. When he got the Fitbit out of the package “He put it in his jacket,” she told the officer, at which point she told her supervisor what she had seen.
As they both watched, they told the officer, they saw Galbraith throw away the Fitbit package in a trashcan, then go to the store’s checkout. As he was checking out, they told the officer, he paid for the items in his cart, but did not “pay for the item in his jacket.”
They watched as Galbraith moved to leave the store, the report stated, then stopped him at the store’s vestibule, telling him they were with Asset Protection and were stopping him about his taking an item for which he had not paid. Galbraith showed them his receipt, but they said it was about the item in his jacket, the item he had thrown out the package for in the trash can.
The Asset Protection manager told the officer, as stated in the report, “Mr. Galbraith wanted to pay for the merchandise and do anything possible to keep it quiet.”
The police were called and Galbraith was taken to the store’s Asset Protection office, where, when asked, he took the Fitbit from his pocket and laid it on the counter. There Galbraith was told the Fitbit was valued at $176.16, the officer stated in his report.
When the Clinton officer arrived he was told Walmart “… definitely wanted to press charges” and wanted Galbraith arrested.
Per the officers report: “Mr. Galbraith stated to me and Officer [redacted] that he was sorry and that he was losing his ass in his business and that he just made a bad decision to steal the Fitbit.”
Galbraith, also per the report, was handcuffed and taken to Van Buren County jail, where he was charged with theft of property with a requirement for a cash bond prior to release.
Per the sheriff’s department website, Galbraith was released a short while later after posting a $665.01 bond.