but i already stole a wood stove…

Gary Arter while napping

According to the Gazette, a forensics specialist with the Montgomery County Police has been caught allegedly stealing firewood from a Home Depot in Germantown. Gary Arter, 43, of Littlestown, PA, has been placed on administrative leave pending internal and criminal investigations.

A security spokesman stated that the Home Depot security guards “recognized him” and thought he was up to something. Some are wondering why the guards recognized him. He may have just been a Home Depot regular, getting free coffee and donuts at the contractor desk.

The alleged thief was charged with misdemeanor theft under $100, a MCP spokesman states. The alleged thief is a civilian forensic specialist at county police headquarters in Rockville and has worked in the county police forensic services section for almost 16 years.

At about 7:40 p.m. Jan. 13, security guards at the Home Depot at 21010 Frederick Road, saw Arter pushing a cart with 15 bundles of firewood out of the store. Each bundle retailed at about $4.50. The guards stopped him in the parking lot and asked for a receipt, but Arter only had a receipt for a few cheap items. Nice try.

Dan Morse of the Washington Post supplies us with a light piece.

Arter, the alleged shoplifter, testified in the 2003 John Allen Muhammad sniper trial. Under oath, he brought a few articles to the stand in a Lowe’s paper shopping bag. AAAHHH!!! At least the evidence probably wasn’t stolen.

During cross examination by defense council, Arter admits that he himself did not find the bag but it was pointed out to him by another officer on the scene. Those defense attorneys are always puncturing your limelight.

According to The New York Times, people shoplift even when they don’t need to.

In March, 2006 a White House adviser to Bush, Jr. was arrested for shoplifting schemes involving various stores including the Target, near the Home Depot. It is sad to see people with so much potential just carting away crap they could easily purchase.

NOTE: Arter is not a police officer. Not even a Barney Fife type. He’s more like a CSI-babe type, minus the babe.


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