Late last year Officer Mersch responded to a local CVS store to take a report of a delayed shoplifting. Upon taking the report he noted that the suspects described and their method of operation matched the methods used during previous thefts at the same store. He noted that the on-duty clerk as the same clerk that was on-duty during at least one previous theft occurrence. Upon being questioned, she was overly quick to respond that she saw nothing despite the fact that her assigned location within the store it would have been nearly impossible for her not to have observed the suspects.
Feeling confident that the clerk was somehow involved, Officer Mersch reviewed the dates and times of the previous thefts at the store only to find that the clerk in question was in fact working during all four occurrences. Officer Mersch turned this insight over to the investigating detective who confirmed through a Facebook search that the clerk was “friends” with at least one of the suspects.
Officer Mersch’s keen investigate sensibility assisted Detective Hallman in identifying all involved suspects as being connected to the CVS theft as well as multiple similar thefts at local Publix Supermarkets. It is for these reasons that Officer Mersch is being awarded an Exceptional Police Initiative Commendation.