Ohio Grocery Worker Accused of $9,200 in Ham Snacking Theft

A slice here, a slice there. Surely snacking on a tiny bit of deli meat every now and then is okay, right? But when a grocery store worker eats ham on the job, it's a different story.

A Bolivar, Ohio, grocery store employee was accused of eating three to five slices of deli ham during each of her shifts over the last eight years. In a bit of twisting the knife on the accusation, the unnamed employee was also accused of occasionally eating a bit of salami.

Normally, you'd think this kind of employee theft would be handled internally. It's likely that at the very least the deli worker with the daily snacking habit would be fired. Instead, after a loss prevention manager at the Giant Eagle Supermarket in Lawrence Township was tipped off about the purloined ham, the grocery store called the police.


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On one hand, a call to the police and theft charges in response to a grocery store worker eats ham caper feels like a bit of an overreaction. The Tuscarawas County sheriff's office seems to agree, posting a clarification about the incident on their Facebook page. Sheriff Orvis Campbell noted that the eight-year employee has not been charged with felony theft, as has been widely reported.

Orvis wrote, "While our office did take a report of the issue as requested by the store, no determination of charges has been made. The procedure is to send the report to the Prosecutor's Office and they are the ones to decide. While my office does not have the authority to make the final decision in this case, I do feel confident that once all of the facts are relayed to the Prosecutor, Felony charges are unlikely. When called to investigate a matter, our office holds an independent duty to report on behalf of the complainant and sometimes make immediate arrests. We did NOT make an arrest and there have been no formal filing of charges."

On the other hand, eight years? And someone at the regional grocery chain just now noticed? The amount of deli meat eaten adds up to a total of about $9,200, but several commenters on Facebook noted that the Eastern Ohio store gives out more than that in samples each day or tosses it after it expires.

Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Hale noted that the grocery worker admitted to eating the cold cuts. "She was very cooperative," Hale told the Columbus Dispatch.

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