High-end discounted furniture too good to be true

Thompson, Ronald James (5-14-59)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — 56-year-old Ronald Thompson is charged with stealing high-end furniture from his place of work.

According to the affidavit the theft of the Four Hands furniture store occurred on Aug. 29. Thompson was caught after an another Four Hands employee observed suspicious activity with one of the company’s delivery trucks on her way to work.

The employee told police she noticed Thompson, a delivery driver, riding the lift gate with a piece of Four Hands furniture still in the box. She said she witnessed another man she didn’t recognize taking more Four Hands furniture to a residential unit located at the 4000 block of Freidrich Lane close to the Four Hands store. The employee said she immediately thought the activity was odd because Thompson did not normally deliver on Saturdays.

Two days later the employee informed her supervisor of the suspicious behavior she had witnessed over the weekend. The supervisor confirmed that Thompson was not scheduled to make any deliveries on Saturday.

It was then the supervisor decided to investigate outside of the residence the employee saw the furniture delivered to. There he found several discarded boxes that still had the Four Hands serial number sticker on them. He took a picture of the stickers and was able to verify back at the store that the items were missing from the inventory and had not been sold, according to the affidavit.

When confronted about the theft, Thompson denied stealing anything from the store. Thompson was fired after he refused to tell his supervisor why he had been seen at the apartment and who he had sold the furniture to.

The Four Hands supervisor told police he took back the company phone Thompson had been issued. He then discovered that Thompson had been in contact with a person texting requests for furniture items and even including pictures of the exact same pieces that were missing from the store.

Police searched the apartment with a warrant to find the missing furniture. On Sept. 3 upon entering the residence police immediately noticed the Four Hands pieces of furniture. Additionally detectives observed eight other pieces of high-end furniture that appeared to be new. The supervisor took note of the items and confirmed they were never sold from the store, but were missing from the inventory warehouse.

The stolen items ranged from a $2,195 dresser to a $3,990 sectional. The combined value of all of the items totals $17,000.

Police questioned the woman the items were sold to, who claims Thompson told her his name was Ronald and could offer her furniture at a discounted price. She said he gave her a Four Hands catalog and told her to pick what she wanted. In the affidavit she said she was not aware that furniture was stolen and paid roughly $900 for the entire bedroom set.

The furniture was eventually returned to the store.

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