VERNON - The Circle H store in Vernon recently became the victim of theft by a long time employee identified Dusti Gainey, 33, of Bonifay.

 Washington County Sheriff’s Office investigators were provided with information that a substantial amount of property was being removed from the store, unbeknownst to store owners, 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,” said Washington County Sheriff Kevin Crews.

 During the investigation, it was revealed that Gainey, while working as a cashier, did not charge customers for their entire purchase. In some instances, the customer paid as little as $10 for multiple cartons and several individual packs of cigarettes.

 It was revealed that 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. Christopher Gainey would enter the store and receive a large amount of store merchandise from Dusti Gainey for little to no payment.

 Both Dusti Gainey and Christopher Gainey, were arrested and charged with grand theft ($300 or more but less than $5000) 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.”

 Washington County Sheriff Kevin Crews urges anyone with knowledge of crimes being committed to contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 850-638-6111. Tips may also be reported anonymously by calling 850-638-TIPS (8477) or by emailing tips@wcso.us.