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Store security cameras record swapped barcodes

Courtesy Photo Michael Jackson appears in this undated photo provided by the Michigan State Police.

ALPENA — Switching barcodes at an Alpena store did not pay off for Alpena man Michael Jackson, 39, caught by security footage swapping stickers on store merchandise.

On June 21, police were called to the Alpena Walmart store, where an associate from the store’s loss prevention department saw a man and woman removing barcodes and placing them on higher-priced items.

Between March and June, the pair stole more than $1,600 in merchandise, police said.

Using surveillance footage to identify Jackson, police interviewed him and the woman, a 44-year-old from Alpena. Police submitted reports to the Alpena County Prosecutor’s Office, which authorized a bench warrant for Jackson’s arrest on Aug. 12.

Jackson turned himself in at the Alpena County Jail shortly thereafter.

He was arraigned on Tuesday on one count of first-degree retail fraud.

The woman was not arrested, police said.

Surveillance footage caught another man, Joseph Alexander, switching barcodes at the same store in June. Police arrested Alexander on a retail fraud charge earlier this month after he allegedly stole more than $1,000 in merchandise.

While retail fraud accounted for more than 18% of reported serious crimes in Northeast Michigan in 2021, reports of such crime decreased by half in the past five years, from 109 reported incidents in 2017 to 48 in 2021, according to Michigan State Police data released last month.

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