Hilburn sentenced in grocery store theft

Ricky Hilburn of Bull Shoals appeared in Baxter County Circuit Court Thursday and was given five years probation after pleading guilty to stealing from a Gassville grocery where he was a member of the nightime cleaning crew.

The 45-year-old Hilburn and another member of the crew were both captured on video surveillance cameras taking items ranging from chocolate milk to a box of apples to a case of meat out of the store.

In one surveillance camera sequence taken in September last year, Hilburn is seen pushing a work cart with various cleaning supplies he might be expected to use on his job on the trop shelf, while a box of apples carried by the store can be seen on the bottom.

In another sequence, Hilburn is seen pushing a commercial-type mop bucket on wheels with a case of cookies on top.

The incidents of theft were reported to Gassville police by a loss control specialist for G&W Foods, owner of the Gassville business. According to its website, G&W is headquartered in Willow Springs, Missouri and owns and operates stores under several different names - including Sun Fest, Country Mart, Cash Saver and Hudson's.

The loss control specialist alerted Gassville police after reviewing surveillance tapes where he observed Hilburn's activity. The thefts caught on tape occurred on September 5th, 9th and 12th last year.

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