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Berrien County Sheriff's Dept. lieutenant fired for shoplifting

NILES, Mich. -

Trent Babcock reportedly stole about $180 worth of groceries from the Walmart in Niles in February.

Babcock was a rising star in the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department until his firing on Monday.

He was named ‘Deputy of the Year’ in 2013 before becoming a lieutenant.

Sheriff Paul Bailey confirmed Tuesday that he fired Babcock on Monday after the lieutenant reportedly shoplifted from the Walmart on South 11th Street in Niles.

The Niles Daily Star reports Babcock was caught on security camera filling a shopping cart with bags of groceries, and then walking through a closed checkout lane without paying.

The newspaper cites a police report in saying Babcock was confronted by a store employee the next day.

He admitted to stealing the groceries, the report said.

Babcock reportedly pleaded guilty to third-degree retail fraud on March 3. He was ordered to pay more than $400 in fines and costs.

ABC57’s Taylor Popielarz stopped by Babcock’s home on Tuesday to see if he wanted to explain what led him to shoplifting, but nobody answered. Attempts to reach Babcock by phone were also unsuccessful.

Bailey would not comment beyond confirming Babcock’s firing, saying it was a ‘personal matter.’

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