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GameStop manager arrested for hiding money in ceiling, then reporting as false theft

The manager of a Mitchell video game store was arrested after he allegedly hid money and video surveillance in the store's lowered ceiling in what police say was an attempt to steal more than $1,600.

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The manager of a Mitchell video game store was arrested after he allegedly hid money and video surveillance in the store's lowered ceiling in what police say was an attempt to steal more than $1,600.

Aaron Cooper, 34, of Mitchell, manager of GameStop in Mitchell, was charged with grand theft after allegedly hiding cash and bank deposits in the video game store's ceiling and calling police to report the incident as a robbery, the Mitchell Department of Public Safety said in a press release issued Thursday morning.

"It appears that the robbery report was made to cover up an embezzlement by Cooper," said Det. Lt. Don Everson.

At about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Cooper called police to say a man who claimed to have a gun entered the store and took two bank deposits and cash totaling more than $2,000, as well as the contents of the employee's wallet, and placed them in a blue backpack, authorities said.

Surveillance footage from a nearby business and a following investigation discredited the employee's claims, and $1,647.55 in cash, GameStop receipts, keys to GameStop locks and a binder of 2017 bank deposits was found hidden in the store's lowered ceiling in a blue-colored backpack, police said.

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"It's not uncommon when people lie to mix some truth in with their lie. For one, it's easier to lie if there's some basis in reality," Everson said.

The store's surveillance camera was found hidden in the lowered ceiling in another section of the business.

Cooper was arrested Wednesday and charged with grand theft valued between $1,000 and $2,500, a Class 6 felony, punishable upon conviction by up to two years in prison and a $4,000 fine; and false reporting to law enforcement, a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable upon conviction by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Everson said police continue to investigate the case and are unsure if this was an isolated incident. The Davison County Sheriff's Office assisted with the investigation.

Related Topics: CRIMETHEFT
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