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Cambria Co. discount store managers accused of pocketing $140k

Updated: Thursday, December 12 2013, 05:37 PM EST

By Maria Miller

MUNDYS CORNER, Pa. -- Two Cambria County women spent a short time in prison Thursday morning as they were arraigned on a series of theft charges, accused of stealing a large amount of cash from a local discount store.

Combined police said they're accused of taking more than $140,000 while they worked as managers at Direct Value Outlet in Mundys Corner.

Police are calling it a false refund scheme. They said the women pretended to return merchandise and then pocketed the cash.

The owner of Direct Value Outlet said both of these women worked as managers at her store for several years. She said they were the only ones with keys to the registers and two of the people she trusted most that turned against her.

"Things just didn't seem right and my husband kept saying, 'Something's wrong, something's wrong'," said Marlene Krens. "I said, 'No, those girls would never do anything'."

Krens said she finally realized something wasn't right when the money being brought in to Direct Value Outlet didn't seem to match the abundance of sales being made.

"I was watching the parking lot and we were packed and the numbers just didn't match with being packed," said Krens. "So I pulled the paperwork and we started going down through it and we discovered it."

According to court documents, the alleged scheme began in November 2009 and continued through September of this year. Audit reports say Kimberly McCachren was able to pocket about $55,000 in those four years, Ronda Garver nearly $60,000. The two together are accused of pocketing an additional $16,000.

"They were returning fictitious merchandise for cash and we don't give cash refunds. We don't do refunds, we do credit slips," said Krens. "When we started looking down through there were refunds for $150, $200 and $300."

But Krens said it's not only the store that's suffered from the thefts.

"The real victims are their fellow employees," said Krens. "They got their hours cut because the numbers were down and here it was because of the theft not because of the numbers the stores were doing."

Moving forward, Krens said she's confident her customers will help the store bounce back, but said she'll be more cautious and less trusting of those she hires.

"It's a slap in the face," said Krens ."You treat these people like they're a good friend and I just won't do it again."

Garver and McCachren were in prison Thursday morning, but only to be arraigned. They were both released on unsecured bail.

Cambria Co. discount store managers accused of pocketing $140k

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