A Williston business watched in amazement last week as one of its employees was arrested for stealing more than $14,000 through various methods of fraud and theft.
Allguard Security, through carefully watching its records and inventory, found out Elliot Campbell, who had seemed like a trustworthy employee since he was hired in the fall of 2012, was stealing thousands of dollars from them. Between April and September 2013, Campbell allegedly stole $14,190 from Allguard Security.
Allguard Security owner Andy Anderson said that the business had “noticed they were missing equipment.” When employees looked a little closer, they realized the equipment had never actually been bought — Campbell had submitted fake receipts for it, asked to be reimbursed the money but never actually purchased the equipment.
He also used a company credit card to make at least $3,000 worth of personal purchases.
Campbell came to Williston from Tempe, Ariz., where he worked as a police officer. In fact, he was a 12-year veteran of the force.
Campbell left Tempe because he was found guilty of stealing evidence from the police department in May 2011. He pleaded guilty to the charges of stealing a number of items from the department’s evidence locker, including gift cards to various retail stores, and using them for his own benefit.
In addition, when officers searched their records, they found that Campbell had stolen items as far ranging as a refrigerator, a washer, a watch and some tools. He claimed he was going to return them to their owners, but when officers searched his residence, they found the refrigerator and the watch there.
The washer had reportedly been given to a friend of Campbell’s.
The entire incident was a snowball effect from April of that same year when Campbell was investigated by authorities at the Arizona Registrar of Contractors Office for performing contracting jobs without a license.
The investigation revealed he was driving on a suspended license, which led to him being placed on administrative leave at the police department.
At that time knowledge of Campbell’s stolen property came to light.
When he came to Williston and applied at Allguard Security, he was up front about his criminal history and told Anderson and the rest of the company that it was exactly that — history.
“We believed him,” Anderson said. “Too much. There are people all over Williston with skeletons in the closet. They come here after having lost their jobs elsewhere. That’s the nature of a boom town. We’ve had to let other people go because of criminal pasts. In the sporting goods store, we sell guns — we can’t have convicted felons there.”
“He surprised everybody,” Anderson said.
As of Sept. 10, Campbell is out of jail on bond. His next court hearing is scheduled Oct. 8.
However, Anderson is not optimistic about the matter.
“He probably won’t do time,” Anderson said. “Officers say people who embezzle money like that often don’t do time. He’s got six kids at home. As we kept digging, we kept finding out more and more of what he stole. We’ll probably still be digging for quite some time.”