The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has arrested two people in connection with a scheme that resulted in the theft of approximately $500,000 worth of merchandise from a Destin retail store.
56-year old Cedric Fearson of Fort Walton Beach and 37-year old Thelda Jean Kent of Crestview, have both been charged with felony grand theft after investigators say they used a nonprofit organization, “Others of Destin,” to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise from the Target Store in Destin where Kent was employed. “Others of Destin”, which was directed by Fearson, had an ongoing contract with Target Corporation through the Destin store which allowed them to remove certain perishable items from the store for charitable donations. Target Corporation noticed that there were several discrepancies in inventory and how these items were being provided to “Others of Destin”. OCSO Investigators worked with members of Target Corporate Security and determined that Kent was adding non-perishable items, such as electronics, to the “Others of Destin” pallet for pick up. Fearson would load the items into a truck and was seen on several occasions unloading items at his personal residence. Kent was also seen removing items from the truck and putting it into her vehicle. Investigators discovered a large amount of the stolen property in Kent’s residence following her arrest.
Fearson was arrested at the Okaloosa County Jail last night. Kent was arrested on June 4th and stated during an interview with investigators that the scheme she and Fearson were involved in began approximately two years ago. The investigation is continuing.