HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A criminal investigation surrounds Hartford police officer Luis Feliciano after he was allegedly captured on camera stealing from Walmart on Flatbush Avenue while working a detail.
According to the arrest warrant, Feliciano was caught on security camera taking electronics and packages of meat. Officers say Feliciano used a magnetic key to unlock the anti-theft systems on electronics and high-end merchandise. “He was charged with larceny in the fifth-degree and possession of a shoplifting device. Essentially it was stealing on duty while he was working as a police officer,” according to Deputy Chief Brian Foley of the Hartford Police Department.
Foley said, “That’s the toolkit to defeat certain security devices that are put on products.” Police say they discovered stolen merchandise in Feliciano’s car including coffee pods, Tabasco sauce, ground beef and Sony Playstation controllers.
There was speculation a theft ring was involved. “As far as the theft ring, that’s the first I’ve heard of that, so I don’t believe that to be accurate,” said Foley.
Feliciano, 34, was a member of the police force for two-and-a-half years. This incident comes after officials say Feliciano’s department-issued gun was stolen in Springfield, Mass.
It turns out Feliciano had a run-in with police before in Springfield. According to court documents, he faced murder charges in 2006. Those charges were dropped because of false identification.
In 2011, Feliciano filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Civil Service commission after he apparently applied for a job with the Springfield police, claiming the department showed prejudice against him. Feliciano was never hired in Springfield.
How did he get sworn in as Hartford police officer? “We follow a state-mandated set of requirements in regards to a background investigation. The employee met those standards and was hired here at the Police Department,” Foley said.