A former New Jersey police officer accused of stealing approximately $500 of laminate flooring from Home Depot has been sentenced to one year of probation, according to an article in the New Jersey Herald.
Darnell Esdaile, 47, was facing a possible 10-year sentence for exiting a Home Depot store in Freehold Township with unpaid merchandise on Nov. 11, 2010. Testimony at his trial revealed that Esdaile had visited the store an hour before his arrest and loaded eight boxes of laminate flooring on a flatbed cart, as well as a steam mop. Esdaile approached the cashier, advised her that he had already paid for the flooring and simply wanted to be charged for the mop.
When Esdaile failed to produce a receipt for his alleged purchase, the cashier alerted store security. Esdaile ultimately set the steam mop aside and proceeded to another register where he paid for the eight boxes of laminate flooring with a credit card.
After loading the purchased merchandise into his car, Esdaile proceeded back into the store with the same flatbed cart and reselected the same type of flooring in the same exact quantity. Additionally, he placed six pieces of quarter-round molding on the flatbed cart, along with the flooring. Esdaile then made his way to a register, where he dealt with another cashier and showed her a receipt for the earlier purchased flooring. At that time, Esdaile indicated to the cashier that he had already purchased the flooring, but had forgotten to purchase the quarter-round molding. He showed the cashier his receipt for the first batch of laminate flooring, purchased just minutes before, and requested to be rung up only for the molding.
When Esdaile attempted to leave the store with the unpaid flooring, he was stopped by Home Depot security. They escorted him to an office within the store until officers from the Freehold Township police department arrived.
Esdaile was found guilty of shoplifting, a fourth degree crime. After the verdict, the defendant was ordered to immediately forfeit his position as a police officer with the Freehold Borough police department.
Esdaile was a patrolman since 1996 and earned $99,402 a year.