Police: Florida man purchased shoes stolen from Nike campus - KPTV - FOX 12

Police: Florida man purchased shoes stolen from Nike campus, sold them for thousands

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Detectives and Secret Service agents arranged a meeting between John Keating and a confidential source, who was offered $20,000 in exchange for Nike "Look See"  shoes. Detectives and Secret Service agents arranged a meeting between John Keating and a confidential source, who was offered $20,000 in exchange for Nike "Look See" shoes.

An investigation into two Nike employees accused of selling rare Nike shoes for their own financial gain led to a Florida man's arrest this week.

A Washington County Sheriff's Office detective's affidavit said a current Nike employee and a former Nike employee were the targets of an internal Nike investigation performed by Nike's Director of Security and his staff, as well as a state-licensed private investigative firm.

The affidavit said Nike staff had evidence the current employee had limited pre-production runs of Nike shoes produced so he could steal them from Nike's campus and then transfer them to a third party for selling.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the employee, a promo product manager at Nike since 2012, still works at the Oregon-based company, but at one point he had the authority to place orders for sample shoes known as "Look See" shoes, the affidavit said. It's common for the Look See shoes to never go into production and, as a result, they're extremely rare and highly sought after by sneaker collectors willing to shell out thousands of dollars for a single pair of shoes.

Court documents said Nike shared several pieces of evidence with sheriff's office detectives: still photos and surveillance video of the employee taken at Nike's World Headquarters campus, email correspondence between the current and former Nike employees on Nike's corporate email system and records of several Look See shoes ordered by the pair.

The investigation led sheriff's detectives to serve a search warrant at the current employee's Portland home on March 14. During the course of the search, detectives seized 1,941 pairs of Nike shoes, plus a large sum of cash.

The court affidavit then described an interview between the detective and the employee, who admitted to stealing hundreds of Look See shoes, detectives said.

"(The employee) admitted that he had stolen several hundred pairs of Nike Look See shoes and sold them in two different ways. (He) said that he personally had used EBay to sell shoes on a small scale, earning approximately $15,000," the affidavit said. "(He) told me the other way he sold Nike Look See shoes was by using a middle man."

That middle man was the former Nike employee, and detectives said the largest purchaser of the employees' Look See shoes was a Florida man named John Keating. When Keating visited Portland in March, detectives and the Secret Service had a confidential source who arranged to meet with him.

The detective said Keating paid more than $20,000 to the confidential source for a pending order of Nike Look See shoes.

Based on the meeting and the investigation by the sheriff's office, a warrant was issued for Keating's arrest on a charge of receipt of stolen goods.

FOX 12 is not naming the current and former Nike employees because they have not been arrested. Nike is not commenting on Keating's arrest, but a spokesman said company leaders are "aware of the investigation and are cooperating fully with law enforcement authorities."

Keating made his first appearance in federal court Thursday and the judge granted him pretrial release.

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