Jury convicts Union County cop for faking barcodes at stores
ELIZABETH — A Union County Police Department cop was found guilty this week of using fake barcodes to get himself steep discounts at department stores.
Blake Clay, 36, faces at least two years in prison with no possibility of parole when he is sentenced Nov. 15 in Superior Court. The 36-year-old faces up to five years on the charges of theft and official misconduct.
Clay was arrested in 2016 after investigators learned of his scheme, which had allowed him to pay $1.50 to $4.50 for goods that were priced from $15.99 to $39.99.
At the time, he was earning a base salary of $83,300 before overtime. He was suspended without pay while awaiting trial.
Prosecutors said Clay would affix a fake barcode to the items before checking them out.
At one point, a Walmart store caught onto him and Clay signed an agreement admitting what he did and promised never to visit another Walmart.
He was not arrested, however, and Clay continued his scheme at Target — sometimes while in uniform.
Prosecutors said his counterfeit barcode scam lasted for months before he was caught. He was charged with stealing more than $600.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.