A 31-year-old woman, Stellamaris Ebhohimen, has been arrested by the police for allegedly stealing products valued at N4.2m, which belong to the company she works for.
Suspect, Stellamaris Ebhohimen
PUNCH Metro gathered that Ebhohimen works as a loss prevention officer at Hubmart Stores Limited in Lagos.
It was alleged that Ebhohimen and another staff member from the loss prevention section were seen on a closed-circuit television footage stealing goods from the shelves.
The Chief Security Officer of the firm, George Udu, said investigation revealed that the Edo State indigene had been stealing from the store for more than two weeks.
He said, “On November 21, 2018, the Head of Operations brought a case of theft to the notice of the loss prevention department. He asked one of the loss prevention staff members, Jennifer Shedrack, to investigate the case. But according to him, he was not satisfied with her report, so, I was called to investigate further.
“I, alongside the Head of Operations, went to review the CCTV footage and we found out that Ebhohimen had been picking merchandise from the store every morning, and the management believed she was being aided by someone in the organisation.
“We were able to get the footage for the period November 8 to 20, 2018, because the system overwrites itself every two weeks. But it is believed that Ebhohimen usually picks items every time she is on duty.
“Cases of missing items have been recorded for over 13 months since she was transferred from the Adeola branch to the Ikeja GRA on her request. She was employed to protect the company’s properties but she is the one stealing them.”
Ebhohimen, however, said she had been stealing the items all alone.
She stated, “I usually pick the items in the morning before the store is opened for the day. The lining of my bag is torn so that is where I usually keep the items I steal. Whenever we close from work, we are always searched but without a careful search, the stolen items cannot be discovered.
“It is just me that usually steal. I don’t have an accomplice. As a loss prevention officer, I know I am not supposed to pick up what I did not pay for.”
Ebhohimen was arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court on one count of stealing.
The police prosecutor, Michael Unah, said the offence contravened Section 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The charge read, “That you, Stellamaris Ebhohimen, between November 11, 2018 and November 20, 2018, at Hubmart Stores Limited, 26 Isaac John Street, GRA, Ikeja, in the Ikeja Magisterial District, did steal cosmetics, creams, clothes and perfumes valued at N4,267,960, property of Hubmart Stores Limited.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The presiding magistrate, Mr A. A. Fashola, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N250,000 with two sureties in like sum.
Fashola said the sureties must be gainfully employed with evidence of two years’ tax payment to the Lagos State Government and have their addresses verified by the court.