A Decatur man and a woman are suspected of shoplifting over-the-counter drugs from Hall County grocery stores.
The Oakwood Police Department and Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad worked together to arrest Tortinto A. Christian, 29. Authorities plan to charge and identify the woman, but have not done so yet.
Oakwood police and the MANS unit set up a sting operation via Facebook to purchase the items from Christian, said Oakwood police Cpl. Danny Sridej.
“We set up a buy from him, and he brought everything to us,” he said.
Dozens of boxes of heartburn medication and probiotics were seized by Oakwood police, as well as nicotine patches and packs of batteries. The items, Sridej said, could be resold on the black market or on the Internet.
“I guess batteries are one of the hot-selling items,” he said of the numerous AA and AAA batteries seized.
Christian and his accomplice are suspected of going to multiple grocery stores and concealing the items before leaving the store. Between $800 and $1,500 worth of items were taken during each incident, police said.
In total, police say they seized an estimated $7,700 or more in merchandise from Christian’s vehicle at the time of his arrest.
A white Chevrolet Impala with a dealership tag or a silver Toyota Camry with a Florida tag were seen each time the suspects escaped.
Other stores in Hall County and neighboring jurisdictions are asked to contact Oakwood police if any similar thefts have happened at their locations, Sridej said.