SHERIDAN — A former Walmart employee appeared in Sheridan’s 4th Judicial District Court Thursday morning to be arraigned for a charge of felony theft. Michele Milner, 23, pleaded not guilty to stealing more than $1,000 worth of gift cards while working as a cashier.
According to an affidavit of probable cause submitted to the court, Walmart Loss Prevention Officer Janet Williamson contacted the Sheridan Police Department after Milner’s register had come up short several times.
In an interview with police after her arrest, Milner admitted she had been experiencing money problems and had activated several gift cards for herself without putting money in the register over the past several weeks. She said she had started with a $20 card, and when nothing happened, she continued the activations, enabling cards for up to $100.
Police documents suggest Milner used the same gift cards to purchase merchandise at Walmart. The transaction was traceable because she also took advantage of her employee discount in making the purchase.
Milner also indicated she had taken some cash from the register during her shifts. When Milner was arrested, she had six gift cards and $118 in cash with her. She indicated some of the cash “might” have been from her register. The total amount of money estimated to have been stolen is approximately $1,240.
Walmart spokesperson Betsy Harden said Milner is no longer employed at the store.
“As soon as the store became aware of the situation, they worked closely with police to pursue an investigation,” Harden said shortly after Milner’s arrest in mid-December. “Theft is something we take very seriously in our stores.”
Harden said Milner’s arrest is a reflection of the work done by the store’s asset protection team.
Milner was represented by Jeremy Kisling. Darci Phillips is prosecuting the case for the state.
If no plea agreement is reached, Milner will face trial June 11.
Felony theft is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.