Police say a clerk at a Madison convenience store exchanged merchandise for money and sex with acquaintances.
Madison County prosecutors on Friday charged Richard E. Perigo, 37, of Granite City with felony theft for allegedly stealing more than $10,000 from a Huck's store in Madison.
Madison Police Lt. Steve Shelby said Perigo would take a few dollars from an acquaintance, then hand the person a bag.
"He'd just give them a bag, then they'd go around and do their shopping and walk out the door," Shelby said. "Sometimes they'd give him $4 or $10, he'd put the money in his pocket and they'd take $70 worth of items. He also traded sex for merchandise from the store."
The loss to Huck's totaled about $17,000.
Perigo worked at the store about four months. The thefts took place during the last two months.
Shelby said the suspect told police the stealing "got out of hand" toward the end as word spread about what he was doing. Perigo told police friends of friends began coming in and threatened to tell his boss about what was happening if he didn't let them in on the action.
Associate Judge James Hackett set Perigo's bail at $75,000. The charge carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.