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Target Cashiers Swipe $18,000 from Loop Store, Prosecutors Say

By Erica Demarest | November 18, 2015 5:33am
 From left to right: Brezhelle Watts, Latina Taylor and Teanna Lewis are charged with retail theft.
From left to right: Brezhelle Watts, Latina Taylor and Teanna Lewis are charged with retail theft.
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Google Earth; Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Two cashiers at the Target on State Street in the Loop stole more than $14,000 this week when they illegally loaded 16 gift cards with money and passed them to friends, prosecutors said.

A third cashier from the same store at 1 S. State St. is also charged with stuffing more than $4,000 in cash into her pocket since October.

"Don't they tell you everything is on camera when you get hired?" Cook County Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. asked Brezhelle Watts, 20, as she stood before him on a retail-theft charge Tuesday afternoon.

Watts is accused of loading nine separate gift cards with $900 each during her shift Monday, for a total of $8,100. She gave the cards to an accomplice, prosecutors said, and no one ever paid for them.

 Kristin Wiig's Target cashier from
Kristin Wiig's Target cashier from "Saturday Night Live."
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Watts was captured on surveillance footage and arrested Monday night, court records show.

She told police, "I met this guy a few months ago. He came in the store today and asked me to put $900 on the cards," according to an arrest report.

Latina Taylor, also 20, ran a similar scheme on Sunday, Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti said during a bond hearing Tuesday.

Taylor is accused of loading seven gift cards with $6,002. The cashier entered a "cash payment" into her register for each card, court records show, but no payment was ever received. 

"It's hard to live your life being a thief," Judge Bourgeois told Taylor on Tuesday. "Nobody trusts you."

After Watts and Taylor appeared before the judge Tuesday — still wearing their khaki pants and red tops — a third cashier from the same exact Target was walked into the courtroom.

Teanna Lewis, 21, is accused of stuffing cash into her left pocket when she worked as a cashier from Oct. 7 to Monday. In all, Lewis stole $4,096 over 5½ weeks, prosecutors said. The transactions were caught on camera.

Watts, of the 7100 block of South Cyril Avenue; Taylor, of the 15500 block of South Loomis Street ins suburban Harvey; and Lewis, of the 9000 block of South Dauphin Avenue, were charged with one count each of felony retail theft.

Bourgeois on Tuesday said each woman could be released on her own recognizance so long as the Cook County Sheriff's Office agreed to provide electronic monitoring.

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