BURLEY — A former Stokes Fresh Food Market employee was charged with grand theft after store officials said she stole nearly $10,000 using a scheme to fictitiously rent out the store’s carpet cleaners and pocketing the return fees.
Sarah S. Gonzales, 26, is charged with felony counts of burglary and grand theft.
Cassia County Sheriff deputies were called to the store on July 14 to investigate a complaint by store officials against Gonzales, alleging she fictitiously rented out Rug Doctor carpet cleaners from the store and pocketed the $20 return fee usually given to a customer when they return the machine.
A store official said she was renting out 14 machines a day when the store only owned two and said Gonzales would take the till upstairs away from cameras to count the money.
When interviewed by deputies, Gonzales said she started out by taking $20 in January and got “comfortable with it.” Then she started taking other amounts.
She said she was taking the money to pay her student loan. She first told police she took $5,000 and that was the amount of her loan, but she wrote a confession to the store saying she took $9,700.
Gonzales told officers it was the only method she used to steal money from the store.
She told officers another employee showed her how to steal from the store when she first started the job.