Employee Theft Suspect Withdraws Plea

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CLEARFIELD – A former DuBois woman charged with stealing from two, different employers was recently scheduled to be sentenced during plea and sentencing court.

Mary Beth Bawden, 53, whose address is now listed as Erie, is charged with access device issued to another and eight counts of theft by unlawful taking in one case and a felony count of theft by unlawful taking in the other case.

When she appeared before Judge Paul E. Cherry, Bawden said she wanted to withdraw her plea for a 90-day sentence and Cherry allowed her to do that. Cherry warned her that she would not get an offer like that again. Her cases are now scheduled for jury selection Oct. 2.

The charges stem from incidents in Sandy Township in September while she was employed at Sears and October when she was an employee of the Boss’s Office.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, police were called to the Sears store at the DuBois Mall on Sept. 16 to investigate an incident of employee theft. The loss prevention manager told police that she had been reviewing surveillance video of a new employee, Bawden, who worked in the jewelry department.

On the video she could see Bawden taking cash out of the store register and putting it into her pocket. There were also questions regarding a Sears gift card that had been used at K-Mart three times by Bawden. An investigation continued and uncovered more thefts on surveillance video by Bawden. In all, eight incidents of Bawden taking money from the cash drawer were discovered, beginning Sept. 5 and ending Sept. 15. These totaled $367.

While Bawden was working at The Boss’s Office in October police were contacted regarding an employee theft there. The owner, Lisa Ward, told police that since she hired Bawden on Sept. 26 she had noticed cash missing from her office. Ward said earlier in the day, she monitored the surveillance system from another room, where she could see Bawden take a large sum of money and put it in her pants pocket.

An officer made contact with Bawden and ordered her to turn over the money. Bawden denied taking it. After she was told the theft was caught on video, she stated she needed money for a doctor’s appointment. She reached in her pocket, removed the money and said she was sorry. She stated she would return the rest of the money she had taken.

The total missing from the office was $3,172.

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