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Walmart shoplifting ring busted

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Police say they have broken up a shoplifting ring targeting a New York Walmart store.

It happened on Christmas Eve in the Buffalo suburb of Clarence.

State Police say that Walmart officials had been investigating an ongoing scheme at the supercenter store on Transit Road.

Walmart said that several of its employees were "under-scanning" or "under-ringing" merchandise, to allow accomplices to go through the check-out lines and leave the store without paying for numerous items in their shopping bags.

They say employees were also activating gift cards when customers would purchase them but then keep the card and give the unsuspecting customer an unactivated card.

Evelyn Smith, 26, is under arrest on felony grand larceny charges.  Police say she under-scanned merchandise and also posed as a customer and left the store with under-canned merchandise going through the cashier line of another member of the ring.

Tacara Lawrence, 21, faces felony grand larceny charges for under-scanning merchandise.

Dewayne Harrell, 22, was arrested on larceny charges for allegedly gift card theft.

Latasha Morrow, 19, was arrested on larceny charges.  She is accused of leaving the Walmart store with merchandise that was initially scanned and then voided by a cashier involved with the ring.

Walmart estimated the suspects were responsible for $7,000 worth of theft.  Police say the investigation is still ongoing and other arrests are expected.

The four will appear on a later date in a Clarence courtroom.

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