MIDWEST CITY, Okla. - A former sporting goods store manager was charged Thursday with felony embezzlement, accused of stealing thousands of dollars of products and selling them online.
Brandon Mace, 45, worked as an Academy Sports + Outdoors store manager until this past summer when he was confronted by company officials with evidence that he was allegedly behind the thefts and sales. Mace was charged in Oklahoma County District Court Thursday with two counts of felony embezzlement.
"Part of the crime happened at the south side store, Academy in Oklahoma City," said Midwest City Police Sgt., Detective Kyle Crusoe. "And when the new store opened up in Midwest City, the manager was transferred to the Midwest City store, and that's where the embezzlement continued until July of 2018."
Investigators believe the thefts and sales spanned more than a year, totaling more than $100,000 in losses from the company. When asked for comment, an Academy spokesperson said in an email the company is "cooperating with law enforcement on this matter."
Midwest City Police were contacted by Academy loss prevention investigators in July. Court documents say Academy was notified by another loss prevention investigator from a different sporting goods company about a suspicious eBay account selling a number of items that had brand new Academy price tag stickers.
According to court documents, when company officials confronted Mace about the thefts and sales on eBay, he denied being behind the thefts and the eBay account, despite phone numbers listed for the account tracing back to Mace's personal and company issued cell phones, and that the account was accessed on two store-issued computers. However, Mace admitted furniture in the photos uploaded to the eBay account appeared to be his.
"The in store cameras showed the manager in the morning, taking items from the shelves and concealing them in different boxes, and carrying them to the back of the store" where they would later be loaded into Mace's vehicle outside a back door of the store, Crusoe said.
Court documents say 30 minutes after Mace was ordered to turn over his company cell phone, keys and credit card, all the items for sale on the eBay account were removed.
A court date has not yet been set.