An Ingles employee's attempt to help a friend avoid the "everyday low prices" at the grocery store backfired, according to the Commerce Police Department.
The incident report said police were summoned to the new store on South Elm Street and were asked to wait outside until the shoplifting suspects left the store. Moments later, they were asked to come in, as the suspects were in the self-check-out line taking items out of bags and putting them back in the grocery cart.
At that time, police arrested Nacole Buffington Sanders, 24, of 172 Crestwood Circle, Commerce, and Scott Matthew McAlister, 24, of 140 Bristol Woods Drive, Athens.
The report said Sanders claimed that an employee of Ingles, Heather Denise Hinton, 31, of 110 Marion Cape Road, Maysville, had told her to go to the self-check-out line, scan some of the merchandise and just put the rest into a bag with the scanned items.
The report said that Hinton, who was a former coworker of Sanders at a Banks Crossing restaurant, admitted that when she saw management paying close attention to Sanders and McAlister, she told the manager she thought they were stealing merchandise - to cover her own involvement.