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Dillard's cashier at Shops at Wiregrass accused in theft scheme

WESLEY CHAPEL — Authorities say a Dillard's cashier allowed a friend to pretend to pay for nearly $1,100 worth of handbags and clothes, but never charged her for the items.

The cashier, Stephanie A. Swanson, 25, and her friend, Jeanette Rivera-Otero, 33, were arrested Wednesday.

A sheriff's report says Rivera-Otero went through Swanson's checkout line at the Shops at Wiregrass store with four handbags, which she didn't pay for, and Swanson put them into a shopping bag.

Then, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, Rivera-Otero returned with her 17-year-old daughter. Rivera-Otero had her daughter pick out clothes, gave the teen her credit card and had her take them up to the counter, the report states. Deputies say Swanson charged the teen for a candy bar, but not the clothes.

The mother and the daughter were stopped from leaving the store by security. Rivera-Otero admitted to planning the scam with Swanson, but she said her daughter had no knowledge of it, the report says.

Swanson and Rivera-Otero both face charges of retail theft.

Swanson, of 2210 Marsh View Drive in Wesley Chapel, was released from the Land O'Lakes jail Thursday on $2,000 bail. Rivera-Otero of 39031 Cardinal Ave. in Zephyrhills remained in jail Thursday in lieu of $2,000 bail.

Dillard's cashier at Shops at Wiregrass accused in theft scheme 12/17/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 17, 2009 8:40pm]
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