by: Mike Petchenik Updated:
ALPHARETTA, Ga. - Police in Alpharetta and Norcross tell Channel 2 Action News they are investigating a large case of internal theft from a local beauty salon chain.
“An employee who worked at the Norcross location had actually used clean slate gift cards from that location under different name,” said Alpharetta Department of Public Safety spokesman George Gordon.
Gordon told Petchenik investigators got involved after an employee at the North Point Mall location of the salon became suspicious that a woman, later identified as the former employee’s sister, used more than $500 in gift cards to purchase hair products. Gordon said when the owner went back and reviewed the transactions, he realized something wasn’t right.
“She created fake files on a computer under fictitious names to place information necessary to create these cards and use them,” said Gordon.
Gordon said it’s possible the woman’s sister could also face criminal charges for using the fraudulent cards.
“Obviously she had to know they were fraudulent,” said Gordon.
Norcross Police said they were preparing arrest warrants for the Suwanee woman, whom Channel 2 Action News is not naming at this point, and that detectives were awaiting some more evidence before proceeding.
“She conducted this activity for a number of months and had free reign to do so,” said Alpharetta’s Gordon. “She took advantage of her position in the company.”
The owner of the company first agreed to speak with Petchenik in person, but on the advice of his attorney, later declined. He told Petchenik he believes the theft had been on-going for about seven years. He hoped an arrest would send a message to his other employees that theft wouldn’t be tolerated.
Shoppers at North Point Mall said they were surprised to hear about the theft.
“You do bad stuff, it’ll catch you,” said shopper Alfonso Ballard. “Karma is for real.”
Attorney Michael Weinstein notified Petchenik that he is representing the suspect. He said if and when she is charged “she will deny the allegations.”