Two charged in stealing over $9k from smoke shop in Blair County

Local News

BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Two former employees of Puff Super Value in Roaring Spring have been charged for theft after they stole over $9,000 in July, police say.

The owner of the smoke shops contacted police on July 15 with information that former manager Jocelyn Maxwell, 31, of Roaring Spring stole $9,782.62 of cash from the smoke shop. The owner showed police a handwritten sheet that went over different income streams involving the store.

The owner also mentioned that Maxwell was responsible for bank deposits when she was the manager and that she failed to make deposits multiple times, stealing the money along with cash from Skill machines in the store, according to police.

Police were presented with dates and specific money amounts that were stolen. On May 3 $2,360 was stolen from the lottery machine along with another $1,975 on May 17. There was $1,233.48 were stolen from the register on May 18 and the next day $2,226.63 were also stolen from the register. An extra $528 was stolen from lottery ticket sales also from May 17 and 19.

Maxwell was also given a personal loan to her in the amount of $2,000 but money was deducted from the check that left her with $1,464.51. The owner told police that the total amount of money stolen was $9787.62.

Maxwell told the owner that she was going to pay him back and gave him a check. When the owner went to cash the check it was found that there was not enough money in the account.

When police investigated the cash safe at the store they found empty envelopes. The owner told them that Maxwell is the only person with access to the safe.

Police then contacted Maxwell and informed her about the stolen money. Maxwell told police that she thought it was another employee, Sara Harpster, 28, of Claysburg. Maxwell told police that she did not know how Harpster had access to the safe and that she didn’t inform the owner because she was trying to figure out the situation herself. Police then asked Maxwell about the empty check that was cased by the owner and she said that she was trying to make things right according to police. She was informed that she would be charged

Harpster had also been found stealing money from the store by an inventory manager, who was investigating the theft. The inventory manager then found surveillance evidence that Harpster was stealing money by returning items that were never purchased in the first place. She also stole approximately $859.39 from the fake returns and $2,924 from skills machines.

Police then spoke with Harpster on Aug. 21 and she said that she did not steal from the skill machines but confirmed that she was fired for returning items that weren’t purchased.

Both were arraigned Wednesday and released on unsecured $25,000 bonds. Both have a preliminary hearing scheduled for Sept. 16.

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