GONZALES — A WBRZ-TV multimedia reporter booked into Ascension Parish Jail on Monday night on a misdemeanor theft count was fired Thursday after station officials learned of his arrest, station managers said.
The reporter, Adrian T. Pittman, joined the station in May 2012, according to the station’s website.
“When it came to light, when we were informed, at that point, he was no longer with the station,” Chuck Bark, WBRZ director of news, said Friday morning.
Gonzales Police Chief Sherman Jackson said Pittman, 27, 11070 Mead Road, Baton Rouge, fraudulently converted merchandise price tags at the J. Crew store in the Tanger Outlet Mall in Gonzales on Saturday into store credit worth approximately $350.
Police clarified later Friday that Pittman was working part-time at the store and corporate security began investigating unexplained fraudulent transactions.
Police Detective Sgt. Steven Nethken said the former television reporter was caught on a store security camera pulling the tags off existing merchandise and putting the value of the merchandise on gift cards as returned items.
Jackson said Pittman admitted to the store’s loss prevention investigators that he fraudulently exchanged the tags and Gonzales officers were called to the store Monday evening.
Pittman was arrested at the store and booked into Ascension Parish Jail in Donaldsonville and was released Tuesday morning on $287.50 bail, sheriff’s deputies confirmed.
Bark said Pittman did not inform the station of his arrest but officials learned of it from a weekly list of arrests that Gonzales Police provided to media outlets.
Bark said the station informed its viewers on its Thursday night broadcasts that Pittman had been fired in connection with the arrest.
Chief Jackson said the investigation against Pittman is ongoing and store investigators are looking through older surveillance video.