A security manager of a recreational and hunting retail store said it will press for the prosecution of a Mesa police officer accused of shoplifting.
Officer Mark Cormier, who works in the police department's Homeland Security Office, was cited this week for stealing an item from the Sportsman's Warehouse, 4164 E. Valley Auto Drive in east Mesa, and has been put on administrative reassignment pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
A security manager said he witnessed Cormier on Feb. 5 conceal the item and walk out of the store without paying for it. The incident also is on surveillance video, which has been turned over to police along with Cormier's license plate number and a description of his car, said Brad Bulechek, loss prevention manager for Sportsman's.
The item was not disclosed, but it was allegedly taken from the optics area of the store, which sells merchandise such as binoculars, scopes and GPS devices.
Cormier, an eight-year veteran of the department, is denying that he shoplifted, and the incident likely will go to trial, Bulechek said.
The officer researches and writes grants for the Homeland Security Office, and has no prior disciplinary actions taken against him, said Sgt. Ed Wessing, a Mesa police spokesman. He must remain available for any questioning during the internal investigation.
"We prosecute everybody," Bulechek said. "Unfortunately, this time, it's a police officer. Depending on whether we get the item back, we'll also seek restitution."
Bulechek said that the store has about three shoplifting incidents a week.