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A former manager of the local Dollar Tree, Keri Phillips, was recently arrested after allegedly stealing over $31,000 from the business while she was an employee.
The investigation began in October, with Phillips being taken into custody last week on the theft charge and for being a fugitive wanted on a larceny warrant in another state.
According to an incident report, an officer was dispatched to Dollar Tree on October 13, 2022, in reference to a theft. When the officer arrived, he spoke to a woman who advised that Phillips was a manager at the store and the company's district manager had noticed a change in the deposits the week before. She stated that they contacted Wells Fargo, with their staff taking measures to check the deposit machine "to make sure no money was left behind."
The report states that the woman advised that "somehow things were straightened out that week," but the same incident occurred again. She said the district manager then spoke with the bankers at Wells Fargo about the situation, with them informing them that several deposits "were not clearing." The loss prevention manager then began to investigate all the nightly drops. While looking into the matter, she reported noticing that Phillips would place deposits in her purse and leave at closing time as if she was heading to the bank for the night deposit.
The manager then spoke to the staff at the bank, who said Phillips was not seen on camera making a deposit on her work nights. According to the complainant, the dates of the occurrences were from September 24, 2022, through October 6, 2022. She reported 13 deposits missing, with one of those being returned. The complainant stated that she spoke to Phillips about the missing deposits, and Phillips "wrote a statement regarding what happened." Phillips was terminated on October 12, 2022, with law enforcement present "because they feared she would act out with customers present."
According to the report, the deposits missing for September and October include the following: September 24 - $2,611.67; September 25 - $1,994.31; September 26 - $2,310.56; September 27 - $2,466.26; September 28 - $2,210.50; September 29 - $1,820.35; September 30 - $3,131.92; October 1 - $3,621.75; October 2 - $3,101.04; October 3 - $2,973.98; October 4 - $2,393.87; and October 6 - $2,493.78. The total amount allegedly taken by Phillips was $31,129.99.
Phillips was taken into custody last week. An officer with the department stated that on January 15, 2023, he responded to a residence on Bryan Street in reference to a wanted person. When he arrived, he made contact with Phillips and confirmed the warrant through 911.
The dispatcher also reported a second warrant through Cullman, Alabama, for larceny. A copy of an arrest warrant states Phillips knew she had an active warrant in Alabama. Officials in Cullman also told local law enforcement that once Phillips was booked, they would extradite her to Alabama. Phillips was charged with one count of theft by taking and one count of fugitive from justice.
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