Kroger employee arrested after personal info of 100-plus customers compromised

Customers at a local Kroger are asked to come forward after a search of an employee’s cellphone uncovered pictures and videos of debit cards, checks, driver’s licenses and social security cards of more than 100 people.

Desmeiyon Meadows worked at the grocery store’s Salem Road location in Covington, Newton County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Sgt. Cortney Morrison said in a news release.

In late April, loss prevention officials with the store contacted the sheriff’s office about suspected criminal activity involving the woman.

An audit of her transactions revealed she worked with at least one unknown male accomplice, and investigators gained probable cause to arrest Meadows, Morrison said.

She was booked into the Newton County Jail on Wednesday on five counts of theft by taking, five counts of fourth-degree forgery, six counts of identity theft and one count of financial card fraud, she said. She was released the next day on bond.

The alleged accomplice has not been arrested. The sheriff’s office needs help identifying him, Morrison said. 

Authorities are interested in talking with customers who “have conducted business at the Kroger ... in the past year,” particularly those whose personal information has been compromised or may have been compromised.

Anyone who fits that description is asked to contact sheriff’s Investigator Clinton French at fraudtips@newtonsheriffga.org.

“Leave your name so that it can be cross referenced with the names located in the phone,” Morrison said.

In a statement to AJC.com, Kroger officials said Meadows was suspended pending further investigation.

“This is a top priority and we will continue to assist in (the Newton County Sheriff’s Office) investigation,” the company said in the statement.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.