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Eight Phi Gamma Delta brothers allegedly involved in theft ring

A Tech student and FIJI fraternity member was arrested by Cookeville City Police on embezzlement charges at a sporting goods store in Cookeville on Sept. 23, according to a Cookeville Police report.

The report filed by Officer Justin Long said Hunter Nelson Crouch, 19, of East 10th Street, was arrested at Dunham Sports on West Jackson Street for allegedly stealing $4,000 worth of merchandise from the store.

Officer Long responded to a call at approximately 2:22 p.m., where Melissa Leopold, the store manager, reported that Crouch and “some of his friends” had been caught stealing items from the store.

Crouch works as a cashier at Dunham Sports, where he allowed nine other individuals to pass through the checkout line without requiring payment.

Leopold told Long that Crouch’s friends would “pick out items in the store and bring them to Crouch’s checkout line,” where he pretended to scan items, but didn’t actually do so.

“Mr. Crouch told me that all except for two of the suspects were fraternity brothers of the FIJI group,” Long’s report said.

The stolen merchandise included golf clubs, golf balls, golf shoes, cleats, shirts, jackets, pants, shorts, socks and other clothing, a fishing rod and reel, shoes and duffel bags.

Later, Crouch was booked at the Putnam County Jail, where bond was set at $10,000. He has an Oct. 17 General Sessions Court date.

The names of the nine other individuals allegedly involved haven’t been released by CPD.

Tony Marable, faculty adviser to Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) and Melissa Leopold, Dunham Sports store manger, declined to comment on the incident.

Crouch is from Nashville, Tenn. and a nursing major at Tech.