Mineral Theft Suspect Places Blame on Her Fake Social Media Persona

A Mineral woman was arrested this week after her former employer reportedly caught her stealing cash in security footage.

Ashley R. Pendergrass, 33, was charged Tuesday in Lewis County Superior Court on suspicion of second-degree theft.

She was granted $10,000 unsecured bail and told not to contact the alleged victim.

According to court documents and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, deputies received a report of a theft of more than $1,275 in cash from a business in the 100 block of East Front Street in Mineral.

When deputies arrived later that evening, the alleged victim reported that he caught the theft on security video.

Deputies reviewed the footage in which a suspect reportedly took a bank bag from behind the bar, then walked out of the building.

The alleged victim identified Pendergrass as the suspect. When deputies contacted her, she reportedly denied being involved in the theft. However, while waiting for a vehicle to transport her to the Lewis County Jail, Pendergrass told law enforcement she was receiving Facebook messages from a woman who did have the money.

One officer contacted her boyfriend, who reported that the messages were from a fake account Pendergrass previously created when he blocked her on Facebook, according to court documents.

Deputies believe “Pendergrass was messaging herself the messages while waiting for a transport, noting that the times the messages were sent approximately matched up with the observations of her texting on the phone.”

Officers found about $365 at the location Pendergrass’s Facebook alias provided.

Her next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 31.

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