Leslie Helton Eaves, a local Gaston County woman, is facing criminal charges for theft after stealing more than $600 from her employer. According to reports, the owners of Dan's Restaurant in Bessemer City became suspicious when they noticed that cash was missing from the register. As it turns out, the employee they had entrusted to look after the register had pocketed at least $600 of the restaurant's money. Police arrested the employee and took her into custody. She was released on an unsecured bond but must address the criminal accusations in court.
Theft in North Carolina
The Gaston County employee will likely be charged with theft for taking property that belonged to her employer. Theft can be broadly defined to mean taking property belonging to another person without consent. Crimes of theft are committed with an intent to deprive the property owners of the use and/or enjoyment of their own property.
In North Carolina, there are several different ways that a theft can be committed. Each crime has distinct qualities, but each involves the unlawful taking of property. Types of theft crimes in North Carolina include concealment, larceny, false pretenses, and embezzlement.
Theft by Embezzlement
The owners of Dan's Restaurant in Bessemer City have accused their cashier of stealing money that she was entrusted to care for. Since the employee was trusted to watch after the company's money she may face criminal charges for embezzlement. Most of us tend to think of embezzlement as a white collar crime involving a great deal of money committed by the wealthy. In reality, almost anyone who steals property that has been entrusted to them can be charged with embezzlement.
Embezzlement, which is charged under North Carolina G.S. 14-90, applies to any person who:
- Exercises a public trust;
- Holds public office;
- Is a guardian, administrator, executor, trustee, or fiduciary; or
- Is an officer, agent, consignee, clerk, bailee, or servant of any person or corporation.
Since Eaves was an employee for the restaurant and entrusted to take care of the cash register, the state's embezzlement laws may apply. The restaurant owners specifically explained that she was appointed to the register because they trusted her.
Penalties for Theft and Embezzlement
In North Carolina, a crime of theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The charge generally depends on the value of the property that is stolen. Crimes of theft involving property valued at $1,000 or less are generally misdemeanors. Crimes of theft involving property valued at greater than $1,000 are generally charged as felonies.
Gaston County Theft Attorney
Since Eaves is facing criminal charges for theft, she will likely seek the advice and counsel of a local criminal defense attorney. Hiring an attorney to handle her case will increase her chances of securing a favorable plea deal or defeating the charges in their entirety. If you are facing criminal charges for theft in Gaston County, do not hesitate to contact the criminal defense attorneys at Caulder & Valentine for help. We offer a free consultation so that you can learn about the seriousness of the charges against you and which legal options you may have.