A long-time Ohioville Borough Councilman was arrested last week after police say he shoplifted ground beef and onions from a grocery store.
Walter Steff Jr, 71 of Ohioville, is charged with three misdemeanor counts of retail theft for allegedly stealing the groceries from a Shop N Save in Brighton Township.
Officer Don Sanders wrote in an affidavit that he arrived at the Shop N Save after being advised the store had a man in custody. “[The store manager] stated that he was in the produce section and noticed a short older white male, bald with a white beard pushing a buggy around with what appeared to be packaged ground meat already inside one of their plastic check-out bags.”
The store manager told police he proceeded into his office to continue watching the man on camera.
“[The manager] stated the male hung around the produce entrance door as if to wait for someone to enter so as the male could exit without paying,” continued Officer Sanders in his report. “[The manager] stated he saw the male exit the store via the produce entrance and ran outside to stop the male.”
Walter Steff allegedly told the store manager he forgot his wallet and was heading out to his car, with the bagged groceries, to retrieve it so he could pay for the items.
“At no time does the video show Steff searching for his wallet in his pants or jacket or anywhere on his person, as if he realized he had forgotten it,” wrote Officer Sanders after reviewing surveillance video from the store. The video also reportedly showed Steff bagging onions along with the ground beef.
Steff has been banned from the Brighton Township Shop N Save. A preliminary hearing in the case has been set for May 14th.
Walter Steff Jr. was a Councilman for Ohioville Borough for nearly two decades before deciding not to run for reelection last year. Steff was the head of the Borough’s Police Committee and had oversight of Chief Ronald Lutton during the time period Lutton is accused of committing acts of fraud to bilk taxpayers out of at least $60,000.