Cleveland police dispatcher arrested for theft at Walmart

CLEVELAND -- A Cleveland police dispatcher is accused of stealing from a local Walmart and claiming to be a police officer. The accused dispatcher denies the allegations.

The alleged incident was captured by surveillance video from above self-checkout register 45 at the Walmart on Brookpark Road in North Olmsted.

Police say just before 10:00 p.m. on January 22, John Haney III, walked up to purchase several items.

The video shows what appears to be Haney placing towels in a bag, then an employee walks over to help him scan the items.

According to a police report, a Walmart loss prevention officer observed him select one item and then place several more in the bag without scanning them.

The video also appears to show him scanning merchandise and putting two other items in a bag.

According to the report, Haney failed to ring up nine items, including a case of monster energy drinks at the bottom of the cart. The video shows him holding the scanning gun, but it’s out of the camera's view.

According to report, when he is confronted by an employee, Haney "stated that he was a Cleveland Police Officer.”

Over the phone, Haney insisted to Fox 8 that he told employees he worked with and knew police officers, but made clear he was a police dispatcher.

According to the report, Haney also stated "that he thought he had scanned everything and said he may of missed some items." He repeated that to Fox 8.

He also stated that he has worked for Cleveland Police Department for approximately six years and recently has been working desk duties due to injuries.

North Olmsted investigators said after reviewing the video, it was clear that Haney never made an attempt to scan several of the items that he placed in his cart.

The total amount for the nine items is $111.93.

Haney says the incident was “not intentional” and says he has hired an attorney to handle the case.

Haney was arrested, charged with theft, a first degree misdemeanor, and released on a signature bond.

He pleaded not guilty and his next court date is scheduled for later this month.

Haney’s employment status with the city is currently unknown.

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