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Brooklyn Man Accused Of Stealing Diapers From Stop & Shop Stores Across Tri-State

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A Brooklyn man is accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of diapers across the Tri-State area.

Kevin Hargrove, 24, was arrested at his Covert Street apartment in Bushwick Thursday afternoon.

According to officials, Hargrove would go to the self-checkout counter in the supermarket to buy diapers, but would switch the bar code labels for items costing 99 cents before scanning it through.

L.I. Police: Brooklyn Man Steals Diapers From Stop & Shop Stores

Hargrove is accused of reselling the diapers on the street, 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera reported.

"This is a man, who according to his own statement to detectives, has hit every Stop & Shop in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut," said prosecutor Diane Peress, chief of the Nassau County District Attorney's Economic Crimes Bureau. "We know that he's done this over 100 times within the last half a year."

Hargrove pulled off the stunt at least 14 times at several Stop & Shop stores in Nassau County between Jan. 7 and April 1, police said.

Prosecutors in Nassau County said a growing number of scammers are using the lines to take higher priced items and pay next to nothing, CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported.

Garbriella Covelli, a West Hempstead mother of three, told Gusoff she understands the demands.

"They cost a lot -- people are desperate sometimes, but you work hard and you do it," Covelli said.

The problem goes far beyond diapers, said Diane Peress, Chief of the Nassau DA Economic Crime Bureau.

"UPC theft has grown exponentially  in Nassau County and in the suburbs in last two years. You can basically walk out undetected because all the machine is detecting is the UPS -- the barcode."

The Nassau DA office said they are partnering with big name retailers - - helping them spot this new form of grand larceny. They say the perpetrators who do this are organized and do it repeatedly, Gusoff reported.

Stores are losing thousands of dollars in Nassau. Stop & Shop wouldn't comment on the  investigation, except to say  they're cooperating, Gusoff reported.

Hargrove was charged on Long Island with grand larceny and falsifying business records.

He pleaded not guilty and told police he was also using the diapers for his own children.

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