POLK COUNTY, Fla. – The third family member in the Lowes fraud case has bee arrested in Pasco County.
Susan Highlander Bailey was arrested by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office on March 27, 2021, on the Polk County warrant.
Bailey has been charged with: Obtaining Property by Fraud, Money Laundering, Gross Fraud, and 2-counts of Organized Retail Theft over $3,000.
Last week, a man, his son, and his daughter-in-law have were 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 was issued for Christopher’s wife, 51-year-old Susan Highlander Bailey.
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,” said Grady Judd, Sheriff of Polk County.
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.