Gulfport police sergeant accused of shoplifting at Walmart

Pinellas County

A Gulfport police sergeant is accused of shoplifting at a Walmart in St. Petersburg, police said.

According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, Sergeant Matthew Parks, and his wife, Lindsay, were approached Friday after Walmart reported the couple failed to pay for items in a self-checkout line. The items cost less than $100 in total, according to police.

Parks and his wife avoided arrest because they both have clean records and qualified for the Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion Program, which allows people who commit minor and isolated offenses to avoid arrest and prosecution and the misdemeanor offense will not go on criminal record. Instead, the offenders receive penalties of community service and restitution.

News Channel 8 was unable to reach Parks for comment and the Gulfport Police department has not responded to our request for comment either. 

According to their website, Parks has been with the Gulfport Police Department since 2001 and is currently the supervisor of the Alpha Squad. Parks was promoted in 2013 after having served as a patrol officer, detective, and acting sergeant. He is a  certified firearms instructor, and has advanced certifications in Homicide and Sex Crimes investigations, as well as Law Enforcement Bicycle Patrol, Crisis Intervention, Counter-terrorism, Document Examination, Domestic Violence Investigation, and Internal Affairs Investigation. Parks is currently responsible for planning and supervising bicycle patrol operations.

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