Sears Associate Steals A Customer's Credit Card, Then Gets Caught When He Uses His Personal CRM Card To Get Points

If there's one thing a Sears associate—especially one who logs lots of cashier time—should understand, it's how CRM works. But according to police in Heath, Ohio, at least one didn't, and he's behind bars as a result. Well, that, plus he stole a customer's credit card and used it to make purchases at gas stations—where he also used his loyalty card to make sure that he got points for every purchase. Oops!

The tale of 19-year-old Sears associate Zachariah S. Grigsby, though, gets even more strange. It all started on August 12 when Grigsby, who worked at the Sears at Heath's Indian Mound Mall, was processing a customer who used his Discover card, said Heath Det. Sgt. Craig Black. The customer accidentally left his Discover card at the POS station. (Note: It's not like there are a ton of places to use a Discover card—outside of Sears—these days, but I digress.)

Grigsby is accused of pocketing the customer's Discover card, and then using it to make purchases at three area Speedway gas stations. It was during the third Speedway visit, Black said, that the Sears associate remembered he has a Speedway loyalty card—"Speedy Rewards"—and decided to use it to maximize his points and rewards.

Police said that the total of his gas station purchases—for cigarettes "and other small items" but no gasoline—was less than $50. That third visit—the one where he used his loyalty card—was "less than $20," Black said.

That CRM use, of course, immediately tied Grigsby's real identity (you can't lie on a loyalty card application. You can get in trouble for that) to the stolen Discover card. Police could then match the face from the gas station surveillance videos to a name.

Coincidentally, it was when Grigsby's CRM usage identified him to police that the Sears records turned up, revealing who the cashier was who handled the Discover customer. When the names matched, the case started to close, Black said, especially when Sears surveillance video confirmed the guy behind the POS was the same one at the gas stations.

By the time police went to talk with Grigsby, they learned that he had already been fired from Sears (for an unrelated situation, Black said) and that he had quickly left his home with no forwarding address. The trail went cold.

Fortunately, the associate who helped police early on by using his CRM card opted to help them yet again. Typically, people hiding from police try to keep a low profile. As you can already tell, this case is far from typical. Black said that Grigsby got into some sort of dispute with a new neighbor—involving telephone harassment—and Grigsby called the police to file a complaint against this person.

Fortunately for Grigsby, the officer who took the report didn't know that detectives were looking for him. Unfortunately for Grigsby, Black happened to be reviewing that day's logs and spotted the name.

The now-former Sears associate was interviewed, shown the surveillance images, and said he had indeed taken and used the card, Black said.

Greed is a wonderful thing. Indeed, where would the art of stealing be today without it? But to use your actual loyalty card to get points for a less-than-$20 purchase? Those must have been some glorious redemption offers.