A man, his son, and his daughter-in-law have been identified by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office as suspects of wide-spread fraud at numerous Lowe’s Home Improvement stores in Florida.
50-year-old Robert Bailey, and his son 28-year-old Christopher Bailey, are currently in jail in Hernando and Pasco counties respectively, and a warrant for Christopher’s wife, 51-year-old Susan Highlander Bailey, has been issued for her and she is currently being sought.
The Pasco County family was found to have made 65 fraudulent transactions at Lowe’s stores in eleven Florida counties, costing the store $28,801.79 in losses.
Members of the PCSO’s Organized Retail Crime Unit first learned of the trio’s activity last year when they were contacted by a Lowe’s ORC manager about how the suspects had removed items from store shelves then made immediate “returns” at the customer service counter for store credit.
The suspects would then purchase merchandise, usually tools, with the store credit.
The investigation found that the suspects made eight pawn transactions within hours of the fraudulent returns and purchases.
“These three weren’t difficult to track down. They used their Florida driver’s licenses during the transactions, and Robert and Christopher were in jail for other crimes when we charged them. Their scheme, and others like it, not only cost Lowe’s money, but also consumers, due to prices being driven up by the losses.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff.
Their fraudulent thefts are known to have occurred between July 10, 2020 and September 3, 2020.
Seven of the thefts occurred in Lowe’s stores within Polk County. Due to the other thefts occurring in ten other Florida counties covered by five judicial circuits, the Florida Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution has accepted the case.
Robert Bailey was charged with: 2-counts of Organized Retail Theft over $3,000 (F2), Obtaining Property by Fraud (F2), and Gross Fraud (F3).
Robert’s prior criminal history consists of 28 felonies and 9 misdemeanors, to include charges such as: Armed Robberies, Burglaries, numerous Motor Vehicle Thefts, Grand Theft, Frauds, Dealing in Stolen Property, Resisting, and Drug Possessions. He has been to State Prison nine times between 1989 and 2018.
Christopher Bailey was charged with: 2-counts of Organized Retail Theft over $3,000 (F2), Obtaining Property by Fraud (F2), 2-counts of Dealing in Stolen Property (F2), 2-counts of Giving False Verification to Pawn Broker (F3), Fraud-Money Laundering (F3), and Gross Fraud (F3).
Christopher’s prior criminal history consists of 2 felonies and 3 misdemeanors, to include charges such as Aggravated Battery, Grand Theft Motor Vehicle, and Drug Possession.
Susan Highlander Bailey was charged with: 2-counts of Organized Retail Theft over $3,000 (F2), Obtaining Property by Fraud (F2), Fraud-Money Laundering (F3), and Gross Fraud (F3).
If anyone has information regarding the whereabouts of Susan Highland Bailey, they are urged to call the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863-298-6200, or they can remain anonymous by calling Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800. 226-TIPS (8477).