Police: Fred Meyer manager may be responsible for $300K theft

Emily Tallman has no criminal record that KOIN 6 News was able to find

Emily J. Tallman, 35, shown in a jail booking photo.
Emily J. Tallman, 35, shown in a jail booking photo.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A manager with Fred Meyer is accused of stealing more than $18,000 from the grocery store she was entrusted to prevent theft from, according to court documents.

Emily J. Tallman, 35, appeared in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Friday and was arraigned on one count of aggravated first-degree theft and possession of meth.

Detectives assigned to the Portland Police Bureau’s White Collar Crimes Unit arrested Tallman on Thursday at the Gateway Fred Meyer off of Northeast 102nd Avenue.

According to court documents first obtained by KOIN 6 News, Fred Meyer told detectives with the Portland Police Bureau’s White Collar Crimes Unit that the Gateway Fred Meyer had experienced a cash theft of more than $300,000.

Officials told KOIN 6 News that detectives are continuing their investigation to see if Tallman is responsible for all $300,000 or if she had accomplices.

The theft, according to prosecutors, occurred when Tallman – the person in charge of loss prevention for the Gateway Fred Meyer – took cash from the self-checkout registers.

The thefts began in January 2017, according to court documents.

At first, Fred Meyer wasn’t sure how the store was losing money. They asked Tallman to launch an investigation. Tallman reported to her superiors that she was unable to come up with any explanation for the loss of cash and the thefts continued.

Struggling to find answers, the company launched its own investigation separate from Tallman and was able to review the store’s security cameras.

When officials watched the video for May 24, 2017 they saw Tallman pushing a grocery cart at 1:30 a.m. next to the self-checkout machines. The grocery cart was full of cleaning supplies. Tallman was “looking around the store, apparently, to see if anyone can see her, then opening the secure cash storage area inside the machine with a key, then reaching inside the machine with her hand,” according to court documents.

The video shows her removing something from the machine but the contents were obscured by her clipboard.

When the alleged theft happened on May 24, Tallman was not scheduled to be inside the store.

Video and records from the self-checkout machines shows that Tallman stole more than $18,000 from 3 machines on May 24, according to court documents.

Officials were apparently concerned Tallman might flee the country because she had a vacation scheduled for June 23 and had told employees she was well traveled and backpacked through Africa for an extended period of time. She also had told Fred Meyer officials she had moved out of her residence and was living in area motels.

When detectives arrested Tallman on June 22 at Gateway Fred Meyer police searched her backpack and found methamphetamine inside an eyeglass case, according to court documents.

Tallman, who lives in Ridgefield, told jail staff during her booking interview that she has worked for Fred Meyer for 10 years.

Tallman has no criminal record that KOIN 6 News was able to find during a criminal background check. Her next court date is scheduled for July 7.

On Friday, a spokesperson for Fred Meyer declined to comment.

Police are continuing their investigation into Tallman and are asking for the public’s help in determining her purchases. Anyone with information on how she stored or handled cash is asked to call 503.823.0400.

Attempts to reach Tallman for comment were not immediately successful.