ELIZABETH, NJ — A former Union County Police Officer was sentenced to three years in state prison on Friday, authorities said.

Blake Clay, 36, had been convicted of theft, theft by deception and official misconduct at a jury trial in September 2019, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo said in a statement.

A Rahway resident, Clay was said to have used fake barcodes to discount prices of items prior to checking out at registers in various retail establishments, according to a UCPO statement released in 2016.

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On 10 occasions, Clay is said to have paid “amounts of $1.50 to $4.50 for items actually ranging in price from $15.99 to $39.99.”  At that time, officials estimated the total value of the theft to be approximately $650.

Clay was said to have altered barcodes at the Clark Target, in addition to other Target and Walmart stores in Edison, Linden and Woodbridge.

According to the UCPO officials, following the trial, the court issued an order forfeiting Clay’s right to public employment and barring him from future public employment in New Jersey. Additionally, Clay must serve at least two years before the possibility of parole.

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