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NASHUA -- A North Reading man will be arraigned on charges he pretended to be a Sears employee when he allegedly told a man over the phone the store was selling TVs at a large markdown, and then stole the man's money when they met for the fake sale.

The suspect, Steven Smith, 36, told the alleged victim the store was selling 65-inch Sony TVs that normally sell for $3,000 each at a sale of only $900. The alleged victim said he would buy 10 TVs, and then handed Smith $9,000 in cash when they met outside the Sears on Daniel Webster Highway on Jan. 18, police said.

Smith, who was dressed with a Sears nametag and produced a bogus receipt for the TVs, took the money and ran. But the alleged victim had a suspicion the deal was fake, so he took a photo of Smith before Smith got away, Lt. Francis Sullivan said.

"It was a good heads up on his part to do that," Sullivan said. "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Police investigated and issued a warrant for Smith's arrest. He was arrested at the Nashua police station Jan. 31.

Smith was charged with a Class A felony and released on $1,000 cash surety. He is scheduled to be arraigned in the 9th Circuit District Court on Feb. 14.

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