- Associated Press - Friday, May 20, 2016

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey police officer is charged with stealing about $675 from Target and Wal-Mart by altering bar codes to lower prices on items.

Union County Prosecutor Grace Park said Friday that Blake Clay, a Union County Police officer, has been charged with third-degree theft.

Officials say Clay went to Target and Wal-Mart stores in Clark, Edison, Linden and Woodbridge from early February through April and used counterfeit bar codes to lower prices as they were scanned at registers.

Clay is accused of paying from $1.50 to $4.50 for items that cost from $15.99 to $39.99.

Clay has been suspended without pay. The charge carries a prison sentence of three to five years if convicted.

It’s unclear whether Clay has an attorney to speak on his behalf.

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