It happened around 10 a.m. last Friday at the convenience store located on the 1100 block of East Luzerne Street.
Surveillance video obtained by Action News shows the 25th District male police officer in full uniform walking up to a cooler. He looks through the items and then grabs what a police report describes as a 12-ounce Celsius kiwi guava energy drink that sells for $2.49 plus tax.
But instead of paying for the item, the video shows the officer simply walking out the door.
That shocked the clerk who alerted the owner’s wife who was also at the counter. She did not want her face shown.
“Hey, the guy, the officer did not pay for his stuff. I’m like, ‘What?’ ” said Aicha Chajai, the store owner’s wife. “I thought maybe he forgot or something, so he keep walking.”
She and her husband went outside the store to let him know he had to pay for the item. They tried to flag him down but he reportedly drove away.
“He ignored us too and he just took off,” said store owner Maqbool Khokhar.
He says he was even more shocked because he is a big supporter of the Philadelphia police. Khokhar immediately contacted an officer he befriended over the years to show him the video.
“He was shocked. He approached his supervisor right away and they want me to make an official report for that,” said Khokhar.
A police spokesman says the 25th District officer, whose name they are not releasing because he has not been charged, is under investigation for alleged shoplifting.
The officer has been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation.
Khokhar, who also did not want his face shown, says shoplifting has been a major problem.
“We’re facing so much shoplifting, so much robberies, and so much stealing. Law enforcement is supposed to be here to help us, to protect us, not to take away from us something. So that was very shocking for us,” said Khokhar.
Since the incident, the store owner says a number of police officers have been stopping by to apologize for what happened.
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