Photos courtesy of Irvine Police Department.
A Long Beach woman was arrested Thursday afternoon for felony commercial robbery after allegedly stealing more than $10,000 from major retailers in a multi-state “short change” scheme since 2013, according to the Irvine Police Department (IPD).
Ashlie Jane Pentard, 29, was arrested by IPD detectives after they observed her commit a “short change” theft from a Costa Mesa Target store, IPD officials stated. She was arrested without incident after leaving the store.
Authorities said she allegedly visited about 150 Target locations throughout California, Arizona and Utah since 2013 and in each case authorities said Pentard allegedly entered the store and made a small purchase with cash.
“When the cashier provided change, Pentard would quickly switch the large bills with smaller bills and insist the store had provided her with short change,” according to the IPD. “She then fraudulently collected the purported balance from the cashier and fled the scene.”
Stores would usually lose about $100 per transaction.
After allegedly committing several thefts at Irvine Target stores this year during August and September, Irvine detectives began investigating the case against Pentard and identified her as the suspect, officials stated.
Target assisted in the investigation by maintaining and providing detailed documentation to the IPD regarding the multi-state crime spree, authorities said.
Detectives also discovered Pentard allegedly committed similar crimes in Walmart, Home Depot, and possibly other retailers.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case before it issues charges.