Montgomery Co. police officer charged with thefts from Walmart

WASHINGTON — A Montgomery County police officer has been charged with stealing from a Germantown, Maryland, Walmart store over several months.

Montgomery County police officer Jose Barahona, 25, was charged Sunday with a series of theft charges after police said he stole items from the Walmart at 20910 Frederick Rd., in Germantown, where he worked as a security guard. Barahona, who has worked as a Montgomery County police officer for more than three years, was also employed by a company that provides security services at the Walmart, said Capt. Paul Starks, a police spokesman.

“This was not in his capacity as a Montgomery County police officer. This happened in his part-time job,” Starks said.

On Feb. 2, a Walmart employee reported items had been stolen from the store and identified Barahona as a suspect. When police followed up, the Walmart employee added that he believed Barahona had stolen items from the store on other occasions while serving as a store security guard.

Walmart’s video surveillance showed that between Dec. 23, 2017, and Feb. 3, 2018, Barahona stole items from the Walmart store while he was working as a security guard.

Police are investigating just how many times Barahona may have stolen from the store, and the value of the thefts. He was charged with theft of less than $100, theft from $100 to under $1,500 and a theft scheme $100 to $1,500.

“This involved not only an investigation at Walmart, but also an interview of the officer and a search warrant of his residence,” Starks said of the investigation.

Montgomery County police suspended Barahona from duty with pay, and his police powers have been suspended pending the completion of the investigation and future court action. His Montgomery County police salary is $59,900, Starks said.

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