LOSS PREVENTION AGENT AIDS POLICE IN ARREST by; Rick McCann www.privateofficer.com


WARREN, MI. OCT. 12, 2007


A Home Depot security agent helped police arrest a Detroit man accused of bilking a 81-year-old Warren woman out of $220.

Warren police Detective Sgt. Michael Torey praised Home Depot loss prevention officer Michael Luttenberger for identifying a man who approached a woman in the store and offered to get her lower prices on doors.
Luttenberger played back a store videotape of the man, who was seen taking the money from the woman and then leaving in a beige conversion van.
Torey said Luttenberger recognized the man a week later in the Home Depot on Hoover Road and called police. The man, identified as Gregory Allan West, 55, was charged Thursday in 37th District Court with larceny by conversion, a 1-year misdemeanor.
"The store detective did an outstanding job remembering what the man looked like and getting a picture of him from the store surveillance camera," said Torey. "West returned to the Home Depot at 12:10 p.m. Wednesday and was put on surveillance by Mr. Luttenberger until our officers arrived to arrest him."
Torey said the woman was shopping for doors at the Home Depot at noon Oct. 4 when she was approached by a man who introduced himself as James. The man, who claimed to be a contractor, told her that he could buy the doors cheaper and install them.
Torey said the woman gave him $220 and he told her to stay by the doors and he would return. The woman waited 30 minutes, said Torey, but the man never returned.
Torey said West denied any knowledge of the transaction. He later told police that the woman came up to him and asked if he could buy windows and install them for her.
West has a lengthy criminal history. In 1992 he pleaded guilty to assault with intent to rob in Detroit. In 1997 he was convicted of larceny by conversion in Oak Park. In 1999 he was convicted of larceny over $100, and in 2004 was convicted in Warren of uttering and publishing.


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