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    Fairfax deputy charged with shoplifting pleads guilty

    Robert Harold Palmer Jr

    A retired Fairfax County deputy was charged with two counts of petit larceny after police said he shoplifted from a Leesburg Target in May pleaded guilty today to one charge.

    Robert Harold Palmer Jr., 50, of Leesburg, pleaded no contest to the second petit larceny charge.

    The incident caused a Target loss prevention employee to lose his job, a decision “made by Target with no discussion or knowledge by [Leesburg Police],” according to the Leesburg report.

    A Loudoun General District judge handed down a 30-day prison sentence and a $1,000 fine, all suspended for one year on the condition that he pay court costs, be on good behavior and break no further laws, according to Heather Williamson, spokesperson for the Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office. Palmer must also stay away from all Target stores in Loudoun County and pay restitution of $100.40.

    The investigation began when Dallas Northington, a loss prevention employee for Target for nearly eight years, complained to Leesburg Police about the theft.

    Northington contends he provided Leesburg Police with surveillance footage of the thefts.

    Days after Northington's report, the suspect retired from the sheriff's office and Northington was fired. Northington says Target officials told him he violated procedure by not filling out paperwork before contacting police.

    Northington says store supervisors recognized the suspect.

    A Target spokeswoman says Target conducted an investigation and doesn't believe there's any merit to Northington's claims that he was wrongfully terminated.
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