Ex-Fairfax sheriff’s deputy charged in Target shoplifting case in Leesburg

This story has been updated.

A former Fairfax County sheriff’s deputy was charged Monday night with two counts of petty larceny in two alleged shoplifting cases, for which a Target security officer said he lost his job when he reported the incident.

Robert H. Palmer, 50, of Leesburg, charged with two counts of petty larceny for alleged shoplifting from a Target store in Leesburg. The security officer who reported the incidents was fired by Target. (Loudoun County Sheriff's Office)
Robert H. Palmer, 50, of Leesburg, charged with two counts of petty larceny for alleged shoplifting from a Target store in Leesburg. The security officer who reported the incidents was fired by Target. (Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office)

Robert H. Palmer, 50, of Leesburg, worked in the Fairfax sheriff’s office for 20 years, most recently in the jail’s pre-release center, sheriff’s officials said. He retired from the sheriff’s office on June 3, the same day that Target fired Dallas Northington, 29, an assets protection specialist in the Target store on Edwards Ferry Road in Leesburg.

Northington told The Washington Post last week that on May 27  he reported two shoplifting cases involving the same suspect, that the suspect was reportedly active in law enforcement, and he had two high quality color surveillance videos of the two incidents, which he provided to Leesburg police. Northington said he later provided the suspect’s name to Leesburg police after receiving it from his store supervisor.

Northington said he followed the procedure he always followed when reporting a crime at the store. But he said Target told him he was insubordinate for failing to notify his superiors or fill out proper paperwork before contacting police.

Meanwhile, six weeks passed with no charges filed in the two shoplifting cases. Leesburg police said Monday they had been waiting for Target to decide whether to prosecute. On Monday, the police said Target contacted them and agreed to pursue charges.

Leesburg Lt. Jeff Dube said the two larceny warrants were obtained at 9 p.m. Monday night, that Palmer then went to police headquarters and accepted the warrants. He was taken to a magistrate, booked and released on a $5,000 unsecured bond. His trial date was set for August 12.

Palmer previously worked as an officer for the Herndon Police Department, officials said, and he has claimed on the Internet that he once played for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. There are no records online indicating that Palmer ever played in the NFL.

A Target spokeswoman, Molly Snyder, said Monday that “out of respect for those involved, we aren’t going to get into the specifics of this incident. Any crime committed at Target is a crime against our guests, our team members and our shareholders. We take that very seriously. . . . As this is an active investigation, we don’t have additional details at this time.”

Northington remains fired. You can find the original story here.

 

 

Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998.
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