An employee at the University of Tampa’s Barnes and Noble campus bookstore was arrested Monday on two felony charges.
Police said Cane used bogus returns to steal nearly $10,000 from the campus bookstore over a period of more than a year.
Tampa Police arrested Takisha Ashon Cane in the Vaughn Center and charged her with felonies of organized fraud involving less than $20,000 and grand theft in the third degree (between $300 and $5,000). Cane, 29, was also charged with a misdemeanor possession of “a small amount” of marijuana.
A Tampa Police record shows that between Sept. 1, 2006, and Sept. 7, 2007, the former bookstore cashier was fraudulently making fake returns and getting cash back. She had worked at the bookstore since December 2005.
According to the Tampa Police report, 88 fraudulent receipts initialed by Cane totaled $8,414.67. A fraudulent cash refund summary totaling $1,246.84 was also initialed by Cane. The final totals to $9,661.51 that was allegedly taken from the bookstore.
The police report includes a statement from Michael Peteja, the Regional Loss Prevention Manager for Barnes and Noble. He said the company recently became suspicious when they noticed that the store at the University of Tampa had numerous cash returns. Upon further research, the company learned that the returns had been from the same employee for over a year. However, since Barnes and Noble’s records only go back a year, the fraudulent behavior may have occurred for even longer.
Still according to the police report, Peteja said he came to town to confront the employee, who he said admitted to taking money to “assist her in raising her kids by herself.” Peteja said that his company plans to prosecute and wishes to receive restitution.
Mike Comiskey, the University book store’s general manager, declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Tampa Police were notified after Peteja’s confrontation with Cane. Cane was arrested and taken to jail, where a subsequent search revealed less than 20 grams of marijuana in her purse.
The Tampa Police Department also said that while in jail the defendant signed a written statement admitting to the offenses.
A statement from Cane released in the Tampa Police Department’s record on Tuesday said that Cane is sorry for what she has done and wishes she could do everything over. She said that she would like to pay the money back if she can.
She also claimed that no one knew what she did or helped her in any way and insisted that she never gave the money to anyone else.
As of Tuesday, Cane was released from jail on a $4,500 bond.
UT Spokesman Eric Cardenas declined to comment on the situation.