Police: Video shows Uni-Mart clerk stealing nearly $10,000

mcarroll@centredaily.comAugust 26, 2013 

— If video cameras don’t lie, it’s bad news for a Uni-Mart employee.

State College police said they have surveillance footage showing Diane Chase, 51, stealing almost $10,000 last week from the convenience store on East College Avenue. Other footage allegedly refutes the woman’s claims she was robbed at knife-point for the money.

Chase, of Julian, was arraigned Monday morning on felony charges of theft by deception and receiving stolen property for allegedly stealing from her employer and misdemeanor counts of false reports to law enforcement and unsworn falsification to authorities for allegedly lying to police about it.

She was released on $15,000 unsecured bail.

Chase’s report that she was robbed Aug. 20 in the parking lot outside Uni-Mart set off a large police response, as officers searched the surrounding area for what they initially thought was an armed suspect.

Chase reported that she was carrying a bank deposit bag and was approached by a man wielding a box-cutter who took nearly $10,000 and ran off.

Chase had superficial cuts to her arm when police arrived, and she was treated at the scene.

But police apparently became suspicious, and a review of video surveillance footage allegedly shows no robbery occurred.

When confronted with the video evidence, Chase allegedly admitted to lying about the holdup but instead told officers she was robbed the day before, Aug. 19, while in a bank parking lot on Gerald Street in College Township.

Police wrote in a criminal complaint that video footage obtained from Uni-Mart instead shows Chase removing money from a bank bag in the store Aug. 19, just three days before her 51st birthday.

The footage allegedly shows Chase concealing the money under her clothes shortly before leaving the store at the end of her shift. Management said the store is missing $9,802.

A preliminary hearing for Chase is scheduled for Sept. 4 in Centre County court. An attorney was not listed for her on court dockets.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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