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Woman sentenced in theft from Taco Bell

August 01, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

A Sharpsburg woman failed Thursday to convince a Washington County Circuit Court jury she was merely using $1,400 of Taco Bell's money as leverage to get two paychecks she said her former employer owes her.

Instead that jury took less than 30 minutes to convict Susan Rebecca McGlaughlin of felony theft.

She was then given a two-year suspended prison sentence by Judge John H. McDowell - right after she repaid Taco Bell representatives the $1,415.84 bank deposit she failed to make on Aug. 10, 1998, when she was assistant manager of the Wesel Boulevard restaurant.

McGlaughlin, 47, of 17523 Longstreet Circle, was fined $300, placed on probation for two years and ordered to have a drug/alcohol evaluation.

And she was banned from all Taco Bells in Washington County.

"It was pure stupidity," McGlaughlin admitted in her testimony of her failure to return the money to the restaurant.

McDowell went her one better. "It was stupidity and arrogance," he said.

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As an assistant manager of the fast-food restaurant last August, McGlaughlin was trusted to make bank deposits at the end of her shifts, testimony revealed.

On Aug. 10, all agreed that McGlaughlin took the money with her when she left that day but it never got to the bank.

McGlaughlin said she got word that her son had been hurt in a wreck in Ocean City and she drove there with the money still in her car, telling no one of her trip.

"She promised to bring it back but never did," said Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Bill Hayden.

McGlaughlin, who represented herself on the one charge of felony theft, told the jury she decided not to return the money when store personnel told her they wouldn't release two paychecks she said she was owed.

Detective Bill Rourke of the Hagerstown City Police testified he tried to reach McGlaughlin several times on Aug. 18 and 19, went to her home and left business cards there and with her neighbors, to no avail.

Finally he issued a warrant for her arrest.

When she was questioned she admitted she handled the matter badly. "But I don't feel like I stole the money," she testified Thursday.

After the verdict was read, Hayden told McDowell that McGlaughlin had two priors - a bad check and a driving under the influence, both of which earned her probation before judgment in 1987 and 1994, respectively.

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