WARREN, Mich. – Two Michigan men are accused of stealing approximately $80,000 worth of frozen fish from a warehouse. prosecutors said Tuesday.
According to a news release from Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido, the fish were stolen from Lipari Foods in Warren.
An employee of the company, Erwin WIlson, 30, of Warren, was charged with embezzlement of less than $100,000, the release stated. Michael Mitchell, 50, of Warren, was charged with receiving and concealing stolen property worth more than $1,000.
Both men were arraigned on Tuesday.
According to Warren police, the theft occurred on May 11 when Wilson allegedly loaded the stolen frozen fish from the Lipari Foods warehouse into a Cadillac Escalade driven by Mitchell, WDIV-TV reported.
The alleged stolen fish included 25 boxes of frozen catfish, The Detroit News reported.
“Crab legs, lobsters, and catfish,” Lt. Daniel Bozek, a spokesperson with the Warren Police Department, told WJBK-TV. “It’s sad that they have to worry about their own employees stealing from them.”
Bozek told the television that Wilson would allegedly put the frozen fish off to the side and Mitchell would retrieve it.
“Pick a specific day, usually on a Friday after most of the supervisors were gone, he would then put product on the side and call in an associate to come pick the product up,” Bozek told the television station.
When officials at Lipari Foods became suspicious, they contacted police and an investigation was launched, WJBK reported.
“We just monitor that employee, and he happened to get greedy one last time, and we caught him in the act,” Bozek told the television station.
A probable cause hearing for both men is scheduled for May 23, WDIV reported.
“The defendants stand accused of stealing frozen fish, an act that not only violates the law but also affects the livelihoods of business owners and their employees,” Lucido said in a statement. “Thank you to the Warren Police Department for their quick response in this case.”
If found guilty, Wilson faces up to 15 years in prison, the News reported. Mitchell faces a five-year sentence if convicted, according to the newspaper.
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