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Monday, February 3, 2014

Police: Man posing as store employee tricks victim out of $9,000

You might think buying $9,000 in televisions would earn a department store employee a pretty sizeable commission. But then, you’d have to buy the televisions from an actual employee.

Nashua police arrested Steven Smith, 36, of 7 Greenbriar Drive, Apt. 302, in North Reading, Mass., on Friday and charged him with duping a customer of the Sears store on 310 Daniel Webster Highway – where Smith is not employed – into handing over $9,000 for 10, 65-inch televisions, police said. ...

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You might think buying $9,000 in televisions would earn a department store employee a pretty sizeable commission. But then, you’d have to buy the televisions from an actual employee.

Nashua police arrested Steven Smith, 36, of 7 Greenbriar Drive, Apt. 302, in North Reading, Mass., on Friday and charged him with duping a customer of the Sears store on 310 Daniel Webster Highway – where Smith is not employed – into handing over $9,000 for 10, 65-inch televisions, police said.

Nashua police Lt. Frank Sullivan said Smith set up the victim by calling him while posing as a Sears employee advertising a tax-free sale at the Pheasant Lane Mall store where the normally $3,000 televisions would be available for $900 each.

The victim, who planned on re-selling the TVs, agreed to buy 10 of them. He arrived at the store Jan. 18 shortly before 4 p.m., received a legitimate-looking receipt from Smith, who was wearing a Sears name badge, and handed over $9,000 in cash. Smith then left, Sullivan said.

Smith was charged with theft by deception and released on $1,000 cash or surety bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at Nashua district court on Feb. 14, police said.

The Class A felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison plus fines, police said.

– JOSEPH G. COTE