PENFIELD — A 20-year-old Weedville woman has been charged in connection with a theft at a Penfield business, according to a criminal complaint filed at District Judge Patrick Ford’s office in DuBois.

On June 14, state police in DuBois charged Helen Charlene Bowen, 616 River Road, Weedville, with a misdemeanor count of theft by unlawful taking and a summary charge of retail theft.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, on Dec. 4, 2018, the state police received a complaint about an employee stealing U.S. currency and committing retail theft from the Nittany Minit Mart in Penfield. A loss prevention coordinator for the business told police that he was at the store conducting an internal investigation of possible thefts that had been reported by store management.

The coordinator also said that an employee had been suspected of committing the thefts since the cash register was always short on her shift, the affidavit said. He said that while watching the security footage focused on the area of the cash register, he observed Bowen removing money from the cash register and placing it in her pocket. He then called Bowen into the manager’s office to speak to her about the theft at which time he said she confessed to him that she had stolen money from the cash register on multiple occasions and had eaten food from the store without paying for it.

After watching the video footage and seeing a woman removing cash from the register, the police interviewed Bowen, who was identified as the same woman in the video, the affidavit said. When asked if she had been stealing money from the cash register, Bowen allegedly admitted to stealing the money and, on several occasions, eating slices of pizza and a jar of pickles without paying for them while she was working.

It was determined that Bowen had allegedly stolen $297 in cash and $5.17 worth of food from the store, the affidavit said.

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