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Annapolis police officer charged with stealing TVs, diapers, AC units, other items while moonlighting for Arbutus Walmart

An Annapolis police detective who moonlights at a Walmart in Baltimore County was charged with stealing five TVs and more than 60 other items from the business.

Gerrard Lamont Williams Jr. was charged with one count of a felony theft scheme for stealing more than $3,600 from an Arbutus Walmart Supercenter between February and March. Baltimore County police said Williams is seen on surveillance camera loading the items in his unmarked police car while working security and wearing a vest that read “police.”

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Baltimore County police arrested Williams on Wednesday, according to online court records. He was released on his own recognizance. Court records did not list an attorney for Williams as of Thursday afternoon.

Williams joined the Annapolis Police Department in 2015, according to the department’s annual report, and was working as a cold case investigator with the department’s squad led by Maj. Stanley Brandford. He previously served as an officer at Baltimore City school police, according to a Facebook post from the police department from his swearing-in.

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After his stint in Baltimore City school police, Williams worked for seven years as part of the Baltimore Police Department’s Gang Unit, where he investigated juvenile gangs, he said in an interview about the cold case squad last year.

He came to Annapolis after the riots in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore police custody, joining the department as a patrol officer and becoming a detective in March 2020, he said in the interview. Then, he applied for a spot on Jackson’s new cold case squad and was assigned to it. His supervisor lauded his ability, highlighting a knowledge base gleaned from years of patrolling Annapolis and investigating gangs in Baltimore.

Williams worked most evening shifts as a security guard at Walmart since 2014, said Baltimore County police spokesperson Joy Stewart. He is charged with stealing, among other items, 55-inch TVs, diapers, a children’s movie, dog food, soda, printers, a Roomba vacuum, clothes, medicine and two AC units.

“It’s a sad day whenever a police officer is charged with violating the law,” Police Chief Ed Jackson said in a statement. “Detective Williams alleged law violation is extremely rate in the APD. I sent a message to the rank and file along with my commanders that we must be held accountable for our actions, both on and off duty.”

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Williams is the second Annapolis police officer in three months to face criminal charges. Cpl. Gwynne Tavel was charged with four misdemeanor counts of misconduct in office in February for failing to investigate a dozen cases.

“I assure our residents that they can still have faith in the integrity of their Annapolis police department,” Jackson continued in his statement.

Williams was suspended with pay April 5 after Baltimore County police notified the department the detective was being investigated for a theft scheme. After his arrest Wednesday, Williams was suspended without pay.

The UFCW Local 400, which represents the Annapolis Police Department, does not comment on open matters involving its members, said Sgt. Chris Kintop, lead steward for the police union.

“The Annapolis Police Department is an Accredited Police agency that adheres to the highest standards,” he said in a statement. “Anytime we fall short of these high standards, it hurts everyone in our membership. These allegations do not reflect the hard-working men and women of the Annapolis Police Department. We respectfully ask that you keep in mind that these are only allegations and that you withhold judgment.”

Baltimore Sun Media reporter Alex Mann contributed to this report.

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