FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - An arrest was made in a shoplifting case that has affected multiple Best Buy stores in Alabama.
The incidents involved in the string of thefts occured when the suspect removed and replaced the barcoding on items to show lower prices on high-value electronics.
During an investigation involving multiple agencies, Melky Kipkoge was identified as a suspect and Birmingham police issued warrants for Kipoge's arrest.
On Thursday night, Florence police responded to a call about a shoplifter at the store in their jurisdiction.
Upon their arrival, they identified Kipkoge and discovered he had a felony amount of items in his shopping cart with swapped barcodes.
He was arrested, charged with felony shoplifting with additional charges pending and taken to the Lauderdale Detention Center.
Florence Police said this type of theft is fairly new to them. "I don't think we have ever actually worked a case like this," said Detective Bill White. "It's pretty innovative and criminals are always going to come up with some way to beat the system."
Investigators said this crime is preventable if cashiers double check prices when they are not certain the item rang up correctly.
"He was actually lowering the price enough to where you would actually expect a cashier to say, 'hey this isn't the right price for this item,'" White explained.
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