Video shows Tampa police officers on shopping trip - WFLA News Channel 8

Video shows Tampa police officers on shopping trip

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Tampa Police Detective Eric Houston, who is working at a crime scene in this file photo Tampa Police Detective Eric Houston, who is working at a crime scene in this file photo
LaJoyce Houston LaJoyce Houston
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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Wal-Mart surveillance video shows two Tampa Police officers on a Tuesday morning shopping trip that ultimately got one of them fired.

The video from September 2013 shows LaJoyce and Eric Houston checking out, buying hundreds of dollars worth of groceries and items that they wheel out of the store.

LaJoyce Houston was later fired, accused of using someone else’s EBT (or food stamp) card that day to pay for about $365 of their purchase.

Eric Houston isn’t charged in that case, but he has also been fired and is under investigation in connection with tax fraud and identity theft.

At the time of LaJoyce Houston’s firing, Tampa Police said it didn’t appear Eric Houston was involved in the welfare fraud crime. However, the video shows Eric Houston was there that day.

Eric Houston can be seen loading up groceries into a cart while his wife swipes two cards in the card-reader. A police report claims the first one was the EBT card that was issued to a longtime friend of the Houstons who was in jail at the time.

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor released a statement Monday saying:

“Tampa Police Detectives discovered the criminal activities of LaJoyce and Eric Houston and then took very swift action. Both were terminated and the investigation was turned over to the U.S. Attorney.”

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