Crime — 13 June 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks
Cashier charged with theft of $5

A woman who was employed as a cashier at a local business in the Fort Street Tourism Village is accused of stealing $5 from her boss. The theft was allegedly caught on a video surveillance camera.

This afternoon, Erica Valerio, 21, a resident of 7173 Arlington Drive, appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano and pleaded guilty to the one count of theft.

But after the police facts were read in court, Cayetano took issue with them and entered an equivocal not guilty plea and offered Valerio bail of $500 plus one surety in the same amount.

Her case was adjourned to August 6, 2014.

According to a report made to police against Valerio by her employer, Jason Almendolia, the owner and proprietor of Belize Yogurt, in the Tourism Village, on May 28, 2014, she stole $5 – two US one dollar notes and one Belize dollar coin.

Almendolia told police that between the hours of 10:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., a tourist went to make a purchase and his cashier (Valerio) received payment with a US$5 bill.

According to the report to police, Valerio was supposed to charge the customer in US dollars, but entered the transaction as a local sale, which was BZ$5.

Valerio was later seen putting the difference of the money in the tip container, which she takes out at the end of the day.

But when the facts were read out in court, Magistrate Cayetano was not satisfied with what was outlined, because, he said, the facts that had been stated did not quite explain how Valerio committed the offense of theft, so he entered the equivocal not guilty plea and released her on bail.

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