Elkins woman charged with embezzlement

ELKINS – An Elkins woman was charged with embezzlement after allegedly stealing more than $3,000 from the Smoker Friendly store in Elkins, police said.

Melanie Evans, 33, was arrested Tuesday and charged with one count of embezzlement greater than $1,000, a felony. Evans was arraigned by Randolph County Magistrate George M. Riggleman and is being held in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $10,000 cash or surety bond.

Elkins Police Department Patrolman A.T. Lantz received a complaint on Jan. 31 from two employees of Smoker Friendly who both stated video footage existed of Evans “collecting money after transactions, then proceed(ing) to pocket the cash left over from the register total,” according to the criminal complaint.

One of the employees told Lantz, who wrote the criminal complaint, that Evans “would price check an item when a customer would pay with money, proceed to add it up on the calculator adding tax, take the money and place the money in the register.” Then Evans would “close out the register, take out the cash that was supposed to be in it, then proceed to put a calculator receipt with it.” The employee told Lantz that Evans would separate the money into two piles, deposit one stack and pocket the other, the complaint states.

Lantz said he obtained and viewed the video footage that dated as far back as Jan. 9 and ran through Jan. 29. Over that time, a total of $3,312.35 worth of merchandise was missing from the sales log, according to the complaint.

Contact Chad Clem by email at cclem@theintermountain.com.