Three Burger King employees, two of whom are managers, were arrested on multiple felony charges Friday night, August 15, 2014.
Arrested were employee Albert Moran, 33; assistant manager Blake Hunter, 27; and store manager Christopher Downing, 40, all from Ocala.
According to the Ocala Police Department, all three worked for the Burger King inside of the Wal-Mart located at 2600 SW 19th Avenue Road.
According to police, Downing would load merchandise such as big-screen TVs, power tools, and other high-ticket items into a shopping cart, then push it into the Burger King without paying for the items. The items were later loaded into Downing’s car.
Downing then recruited Hunter and Moran to unload the items at various pawnshops.
Downing told police he stole the items because he is addicted to oxycodone, and he needed Hunter and Moran to pawn the merchandise to support his habit.
Moran and Hunter would pawn items stolen and then give the money to Downing.
According to Ocala Police, Moran stated he pawned the items because Burger King doesn’t pay enough money; however, Downing never paid him.
Hunter stated to Police that he is addicted to heroin and only received $10 from Downing.
Downing has previously been arrested and charged with Fraud-Writing Worthless Checks.
According to public records, Wal-Mart is owner of the fast-food burger store.
Ocala Post reached out to Wal-Mart and asked if background checks are performed on employees. Ocala Post’s e-mail was not returned.
Lisa Flory Griffin, Human Resource Manager for the Camp/Fore Group in Ocala, said, “The new Burger King inside the Wal-Mart on Easy Street (that is not even open yet) is not owned by our group. It is owned and operated by Wal -Mart and Aramark.”
Downing is currently being held on $56,000 bond.
Moran was releases on his own recognizance the same day he was arrested.
Hunter was released on $6,000 bond on August 18, 2014.