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Sonoma County Hardware Stores Office Manager Accused Of Embezzling $300,000

SONOMA COUNTY (CBS SF) -- The former office manager of the Garrett Hardware stores in Windsor and Healdsburg delayed entering a plea on Monday afternoon in Sonoma County Superior Court to embezzling more than $300,000 from the two stores.

Glynis Susan Lewis, 44, was arrested at her Santa Rosa home Thursday and was arraigned Monday for grand theft, three counts of possession of stolen property and one count of money laundering. The complaint alleges she took more than $150,000 from daily cash deposits at the two stores between 2006 and November 2012.

When the Garrett Hardware stores' business owners discovered irregular and suspicious accounting practices, Lewis learned she was under investigation and resigned in October 2013, Sonoma County sheriff's Sgt. Michael Raasch said. Lewis left an apology letter with an admission statement, Raasch said.

Detectives uncovered additional evidence of theft when they searched her home and personal bank accounts over the past six months, Raasch said.

Deputy District Attorney Amy Ariyoshi gave defense attorney Monte Hansen a 1-foot thick pile of discovery material and evidence in court on Monday afternoon.

Ariyoshi said Lewis is charged with taking $348,000, the amount the prosecutors believe they can prove.

A manager at the Windsor location said Lewis worked at the stores for about 10 years in the accounting and human resources departments.

"We had no idea how it happened. It was a shock to all of us," the store manager said. She declined to give her name.

Galen Butts, a manager at Garrett Hardware and Plumbing in Healdsburg would not comment on the incident.

Raasch said Lewis had a gambling problem and skimmed some of the daily cash receipts.

Lewis is being held in the Sonoma County jail under $250,000 bail. Entry of plea and a bail hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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