A woman who stole more than $4,500 from her employer by stealing cash deposit bags has been handed six months of house arrest.
"This was a substantial theft from your employer. You were in a management position, so a position of trust over the business’s money, and you took advantage of that position," Judge Donovan Dvorak said on Thursday. "A custodial sentence is warranted."
Kristine McLellan, 39, pleaded guilty in Brandon provincial court to theft under $5,000.
The theft came to police attention in January 2019, Crown attorney Dave Mann said, when the head office for Easyhome contacted Brandon police with evidence that McLellan, the former store manager in Brandon, had taken $4,851.75.
An audit of the Brandon location noted there were missing bank deposits on June 20, 2018 and June 29, 2018, Mann said, one totalling $2,764.20 and the other totalling $2,087.55.
The bank launched its own investigation and confirmed the deposits had never been received, Mann said.
Video surveillance reviewed from the store showed McLellan leave the store with the cash deposit bags in her hand, Mann said, which were later found to be missing.
McLellan was unable to provide an explanation for the missing deposits.
Mann gave McLellan credit for her guilty plea and noted this was her first involvement with the criminal justice system.
However, because the incident involved a breach of trust, it generally calls for incarceration, Mann said.
"It does call for deterrence and general deterrence," he added.
Because McLellan is not a danger to the public, Mann said a period of house arrest would be appropriate.
"At the time of the incident, (McLellan) was going through a very dark period of her life, and obviously she’s regretful," defence lawyer Andrew Synyshyn said.
"This was an act of desperation, not of greed."
Since the offence, McLellan has been able to maintain stability, Synyshyn added, and has managed to repay $1,500 in restitution.
"She is taking responsibility for her actions," Synyshyn said.
Dvorak agreed with the joint recommendation and sentenced McLellan to six months of house arrest, followed by one year of unsupervised probation.
McLellan was also ordered to repay $4,851.75 in restitution.
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