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St. Petersburg officer arrested, fired after Walmart fraud attempt, police say

Jonathan Cain joined the St. Petersburg Police Department in August. Now he’s accused of making hundreds of dollars of illegal purchases.
Jonathan Cain, 25, faces a felony charge of scheming to defraud, according to Pinellas Park police. Cain was a St. Petersburg police officer who was fired after his arrest.
Jonathan Cain, 25, faces a felony charge of scheming to defraud, according to Pinellas Park police. Cain was a St. Petersburg police officer who was fired after his arrest. [ Pinellas County Sheriff's Office ]
Published Apr. 29
Updated Apr. 29

A St. Petersburg Police officer was arrested and fired Wednesday after authorities said he tried to use a Texas woman’s credit card information to make hundreds of dollars in purchases from Walmart.

Jonathan Cain, 25, was sworn in as an officer in August, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department. He was placed on unpaid leave earlier this week when the Pinellas Park Police Department told the agency he was being investigated.

Cain turned himself in to the Pinellas County jail Wednesday night and was arrested on a felony charge of scheming to defraud.

He was fired soon after, St. Petersburg police said. Because he was still on probation, the agency didn’t have to conduct an internal investigation or hold a hearing before firing him.

“He no longer had the trust of the Police Department or the public and had to be terminated,” Chief Anthony Holloway said in a statement emailed to the Tampa Bay Times.

Pinellas Park police said Cain tried to make purchases through the woman’s Walmart app after getting its username and password through someone he met online.

On Feb. 11, police said, he placed an order totaling $243.11 through the app at the Walmart at 201 34th St. N in St. Petersburg. The victim was alerted to the order — an arrest report didn’t indicate whether it was the app or the credit card issuer that made the alert — and canceled it before Cain could pick it up, according to Pinellas Park police.

The next day, police said, Cain tried to use the app again, placing a $161.87 order at the Walmart at 8001 U.S. 19 N in Pinellas Park.

Cain went to the Walmart that afternoon to pick it up, police said, but the store had already been alerted and canceled the order. Security cameras captured Cain’s Jeep at the store.

Investigators said they traced the online purchases to Cain’s IP address, and that he added the name “Jon C,” his personal email address and his phone number to the victim’s Walmart account.

Cain was released from jail Wednesday night after posting $5,000 bail, records show. He could not be reached for comment. Court records do not list an attorney for him. His address and contact information are not listed in his arrest report or jail records because of a state law that exempts personal information of law enforcement officers and certain public employees from public records.

Officials with the Sun Coast Police Benevolent Association, the union that represents most law enforcement officers in Pinellas County, did not respond Thursday to multiple requests for comment.