Long-time employee arrested after theft investigation into Vernon store

VERNON, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A theft investigation of Vernon store leads to arrest of a long-time employee and her husband.

Washington County Sheriff's Deputies say the Circle H store in Vernon recently became the victim of theft by a long-time employee identified as Dusti Gainey, 33, of Bonifay.

Investigators say they were provided with information that a substantial amount of property was being removed from the store, without the store owners knowing, at little or no charge to customers.

“The information that led to this arrest came from a concerned citizen who then came forward and reported their suspicions to our office,” states Sheriff Kevin Crews.

Investigators say, Gainey, while working as a cashier, did not charge customers for their entire purchase and in some instances, the customer paid as little as $10 for multiple cartons and several individual packs of cigarettes.

Investigators also say Gainey’s husband, Christopher Gainey, 34, of Bonifay, also conspired with her to knowingly and intentionally engage in a scheme to defraud the Circle H store of items valued at over $300 on numerous occasions. They say Christopher Gainey would enter the store and receive a large amount of store merchandise from Dusti Gainey for little to no payment.

Dusti and Christopher Gainey were both arrested and booked into the Washington County Jail on the charges of grand theft ($300 or more but less than $5,000) and fraud-swindle to obtain property of $300 or more.

“I think our message to those that take things that do not belong to them is a clear one at this point,” said Crews. “If you choose to steal or defraud, you will face serious consequences.”