Police in Omaha, Nebraska have arrested and charged two men with felony theft after the two stole product from a video game store in Omaha and then sold it at a rival store located in Lincoln, Nebraska, where they worked as employees.
This is according to the Lincoln Journal Star, which reported that 34 year old Phillip S. Williams and 19 year old Anthony J. Rodriguez stole more than $1,500 worth of goods from the Omaha store, the Game Room. Williams was previously an employee at the Game Room, but stopped going to work on June 3. He then started working at rival store Gamers in Lincoln. Between June 9 and July 8, Williams, Rodriguez, and an unidentified third individual stole items from the Game Room, registered them as inventory at Gamers, and then sold them to customers at Gamers.
An employee at the Game Room realized that items were being stolen, and so he installed a security camera at the store. The Game Room employee received a notification around 11pm on July 19 that the camera system had caught something, and that's when he saw that Williams had entered the Game Room after close and was actively stealing items. When the Game Room employee arrived to confront Williams, he caught him in the act of stealing $2,300 worth of items.
Omaha police have since arrested both Williams and Rodriguez. It's unclear if the unidentified third individual involved in the scheme has been charged or not. In the meantime, police seized the stolen inventory from the Lincoln Gamers store.
This isn't the first time Gamers has found itself in the news. Back in 2018, Gamers closed its stores in Iowa, with Operations Officer Ryan Miller citing issues such as employees yelling at customers and using racial slurs, declining sales, and "unreasonable landlords."
Former Gamers employees weren't happy with Miller accusing them of poor behavior, and shot back at the company on social media. They cited problems with management, including unpaid mandatory meetings, minimum wage pay, no benefits, and forcing employees to work overtime for no additional pay.
When Gamers closed its doors in Iowa, it had planned to continue operating in Nebraska. However, it ended up closing down in September of 2018, only to be reopened a few months later under new management, with locations in both Omaha and Lincoln. Other video game retail stores, including the giant GameStop, have also experienced financial difficulties, with GameStop recently laying off a large number of its managers.
Source: Lincoln Journal Star