Dallas officer arrested for attempting to shoplift $830 worth of groceries

A Dallas police officer was arrested early Wednesday attempting to shoplift more than $800 worth of groceries.

The watery, bloodshot eyes in Officer Christopher Hankins' mug shot tell part of the story from the overnight trip to Walmart that ended with his arrest.

It was 1:30 a.m. Wednesday when an officer with the Northeast Police Department was flagged down about a shoplifting suspect. He was pointed to Hankins, not on duty, but wearing his Dallas police windbreaker as he pushed a shopping cart full of groceries through the lot. Police say he also had his police id, service weapon, and a strange story about what he was doing inside the store.

As Hankins tells it in police affidavits, he was "shopping with his girlfriend but got separated from her." He told officers that when he didn't see his car in the parking lot, he left the store in a panic, still pushing the cart full of groceries.

But the Walmart manager told police a different story. He said Hankins was in the store for three hours and after filling up his cart, he "walked to the produce area and sat on a produce cooler for approximately 20-30 minutes" and that he appeared to be "falling asleep at times."

The manager said Hankins waited until employees were walking away from the exit, then "'strolled' out of the store with the cart full of unpaid merchandise."

It wasn't a small haul either -- it was 169 items with a value of $830.30.

While talking to Hankins, police say they "detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage" on his breath. Police say they also found two partially consumed beverages in his car that appeared to be alcohol.

Hankins was taken to the Denton County Jail and booked for theft.

Hankins has been placed on administrative leave by Dallas police pending an internal affairs investigation.