Police: Ex-Leatherman employee steals 817 items

Police: Suspect stole items, traded some online for a computer

Hai Loc Vu, February 27, 2015 (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)
Hai Loc Vu, February 27, 2015 (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) – A former engineer of Leatherman Tool Group is facing charges of aggravated first-degree theft and first-degree theft after being accused of stealing more than 800 items valued at nearly $60,000.

Hai Loc Vu, 43, was arrested Wednesday morning in the 1000 block of NE 107th.

According to court records, Mindy Harter, vice president of Leatherman’s human resources department, was contacted by a person named “Alex” who said he received eight Leatherman multi-tools in exchange for a laptop. The trade was arraigned online using the website Craigslist, court documents state.

Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Melissa A. Marrero wrote that Vu resigned from Leatherman, and that his last day of work was Sept. 19, 2014. “Alex” reportedly contacted Harter on Oct. 22, court documents state.

Harter told police that Vu “checked out an unusually high number of flashlights and finished multi-tools … and that he never took advantage of the 50% employee discount,” court documents state.

Officers identified “Alex,” who told them that he met with a man, later identified as Vu, on Oct. 20 in a parking lot of Mall 205, court documents state. “Alex” told officers he traded his laptop for eight Leatherman multi-tools. In early February, “Alex” was shown a photo lineup and identified Vu as the person who was present at the exchange, court documents state.

Police contacted Vu at his home Wednesday morning. They told him they were investigating mislaid or stolen property from Leatherman. Vu spoke with the officer and said that he used to work for Leatherman Tool Group as an engineer, court documents state. He went on to tell the officer that he is currently unemployed.

“[Vu] stated that the Company gave all engineers tools and denied that he ever checked out the tools,” Marrero wrote.

Officers started the process of obtaining a search warrant, but Vu and his wife gave the officers consent to search the house, records show. When officers searched Vu’s bedroom, they found several Leatherman and Led Lenser products, court documents state.

According to its website, Leatherman is the parent company of Led Lesner. A spokesperson for Leatherman said the company could not provide comment for fear of jeopardizing the investigation.

Vu appeared in court Thursday afternoon, where he entered a not guilty plea. He is scheduled to be in court March 12.

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