Thieves Amongst Us

The Owner of a large Pet Grooming & Boarding Hotel for animals had become suspicious that one of the employees had been changing the deposit slips each morning and taking some of the cash collected. The Client provided us with the computer research that they had conducted, which indicated that a number of cash invoices had been deleted. It appeared that one employee, who came in early every morning, was the only individual who had the opportunity to commit the thefts. JJ Gradoni and Edna Velez interviewed a number of the employees and learned that an income report of cash, credit card and check receipts was preformed each day by an employee who then placed the report and deposit ticket in a locked storage cabinet.

Our Client had videotape of our suspect going into the area in the early morning hours, before anyone came to work, and removing the documents from the drawer and then placing them back, later in the morning, before anyone arrived for work.

One of the employees told Investigators that, on numerous occasions, when she arrived for work the suspect would have the deposit tickets and print-outs on her desk, commenting that she was making corrections. Chief Investigator J.J. Gradoni and Edna Velez interviewed the suspect, who admitted to the thefts during the interview. Our investigation determined that the thefts had been going on for almost two years and not only included cash payments from customers but the suspect had also been stealing inventory, cash tips left by customers for the Groomers and the crediting of customer checks to the suspect’s own account at the business. We also learned, during the investigation, that the suspect, who had been working for our Client for 8 years, had been fired from her previous job, working for a Veterinarian, because they believed she was stealing.

The interview with the suspect was video and tape recorded without her knowledge, thus documenting her admissions in order that they could not be denied.

We also put together a very detailed and thorough paper trail that would allow the District Attorney’s Office to place a value on the majority of the money stolen.

A very prompt and efficient follow through by Deputy Pittman, of the Harris County Sheriffs Office, enabled him to also secure a confession from the Defendant before she was charged.

Return to the March 2015 Investigator’s Newsletter