UPDATE: Teen employee accused of stealing nearly $1 million from Gwinnett Kroger

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A Gwinnett County teenager was arrested after authorities said he managed to steal nearly $1 million from the grocery store where he worked.

Tre Brown, 19, was taken into custody Jan. 14 after scamming the Kroger on Steve Reynolds Boulevard out of more than $980,000 over a two-week period, Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Collin Flynn said.

According to police, Brown created more than 40 returns for non-existent items in December and January. Those returns, which ranged in price from $75 to more than $87,000, were then placed on several credit cards, investigators said.

Police said Brown used the stolen money to buy two cars, clothes, guns and new shoes. Prior to his arrest, the teen reportedly totaled a Chevrolet Camaro that he bought, Flynn said.

The investigation began after corporate employees from Kroger noticed the fraudulent transactions and contacted Gwinnett police.

» LISTEN BELOW: Shaddi Abusaid discusses this case

Police said Brown, who they believe worked at the fuel center, stole the money while an employee tasked with flagging fraudulent transactions was on vacation for two weeks.

A “large sum of money” was returned to the grocery chain following the teen’s arrest, but it wasn’t immediately clear Thursday how much was recovered.

In an emailed statement, a Kroger spokeswoman thanked the Gwinnett County Police Department for their assistance on the case, but declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.

Brown was charged with one count of felony theft by taking and released from the Gwinnett Jail the same day on $11,200 bond, online records show.

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