A strange scene played out in a Westchester store when a clerk stole money out of a lost bag that had been left behind by a customer, police said.
Officers were dispatched to a Scarsdale Avenue store during the afternoon on Sunday, June 23, when a customer reported that she had left a brown paper bag with her passport, clothing items, a checkbook and $250 cash inside at approximately 2 p.m. When she returned to the store, she was told by a clerk - whose name is not being released - claimed that he had not seen the bag.
The 32-year-old customer, who is from Yonkers, said that a friend had retrieved the bag, and when she checked inside, everything was intact except for a missing bank card and the cash.
According to police, when confronted, 20-year-old the clerk, who is from the Bronx, said that he had found the bank card, called to report it lost and cut it up. At this point, the customer became “very angry,” stating that she knew the money was in there before she left the bag and that she believed the clerk had stolen it.
Responding officers proceeded to speak with the clerk who “stated he was afraid of (the customer) and that he had given her the money out of the register to appease her in the hopes she would take it and leave.”
When asked by the officers how he planned to explain the shortfall of cash, the clerk stated that he would simply pay the money back.
“I then asked him how much money he had taken out of the register and he advised that he removed $200, then said it might have been $250 because that’s the amount she said,” according to police records. “I asked him how he planned to pay back an amount that he didn’t know and he was unable to provide an answer.”
Police said that the clerk became nervous, and when he was asked to walk officers through finding the bag and where he put it, he became more nervous. The clerk showed the officers the route that he walked around the store and that he left the bag in the back near where the employees leave the garbage for disposal.
While investigating, two others at the store told officers that they saw the clerk remove the money from the register, but failed to see any of the events leading up to that.
A Scarsdale police sergeant responded to the scene and interviewed the clerk, who eventually admitted to removing the money from the bag and putting it in the cash register after a store manager was contacted. All of the cash was recovered and turned over to the customer, who verbally, and in writing, said she did not wish to press charges.
The store employee was left off with a warning and the scene was cleared without further incident.
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