Ex-Monongahela grocery worker accused of $84,000 in thefts
Monongahela police have charged a woman with stealing $84,000 worth of lottery tickets and gift certificates over a two-year period from the Foodland store.
Police Chief Brian Tempest said Theresa Lee Hughes, 55, of 9412 Berkley Lane, Frederick, Md., was charged Tuesday with dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, theft by unlawful taking and two counts of theft by deception.
Tempest said Hughes submitted winning instant lottery tickets and collected the prizes.
“She would try to cover the cost of losing tickets with gift certificates from the store,” Tempest said. “The store would then lose out on the gift certificates and the tickets.”
Tempest said Hughes, who worked in the office of the West Main Street supermarket, was fired after the thefts were uncovered several months ago. She then moved to Maryland.
“We got a call from the store’s general manager on Jan. 21, 2010, about the thefts,” Tempest said. “(Hughes) lived in the city while working at Foodland.”
He said Hughes was not charged at the time because of the scope of the investigation.
“The number of thefts of tickets was so incredible and the scope so large that we needed to get the assistance of the (Washington County) District Attorney’s Office to send someone down to help us tabulate,” said Tempest, who called the investigation “long and tedious.”‘
Tempest said Hughes is aware that charges have been filed. If she does not return to the county, a warrant for her arrest will be issued.
“If she does not come back willingly, we will extradite her,” Tempest said.