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Target Employee Charged with Pocketing Money on Fraudulent Returns

Joseph Michael Allen Bell was arrested at the store on Thursday.

A Lutz Target customer service employee faces a grand theft charge after authorities say he made multiple fraudulent returns and put the money on a store gift card for himself.

According to a Pasco County arrest report, when a customer brought items for return to the customer service department at Target, Joseph Michael Allen Bell, 18, would return the items multiple times in the register and put the money on a gift card after the customer left.

On Feb. 13, Bell completed four transactions totaling $492.19 in returns, which he put on a gift card, according to the report.

Bell was arrested at the store, 1040 N. Dale Mabry, on Feb. 14 and charged with grand theft.

According to the report Bell admitted post-Miranda that he completed the transactions and said he never should have done it but he was desperate for the money because of his financial situation. He said he used the money to buy food and other items at Target, according to the report.

Bell of 6602 Magnolia Point Drive in Land O' Lakes was released from the Land O' Lakes jail on $2,000 bond.

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