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Ohio women sentenced after pleading guilty to theft scam

PRINCETON — Lisa A. Fox, 42, of Youngstown, Ohio, and Vanessa Garltic, 39, of Struthers, Ohio, have entered guilty pleas in Bureau County Court to the Class 2 felony of theft.

Garltic entered her guilty plea on Feb. 5 before Associate Circuit Judge C.J. Hollerich. She was placed on three years conditional discharge, ordered to serve six months in the Bureau County Jail and ordered to pay $392 in court costs and $80 in restitution. She had no prior convictions.

Fox entered her guilty plea on Feb. 15 before Associate Circuit Judge C.J. Hollerich. She was sentenced to serve three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and to pay court costs within six months of her release from prison. She has five prior misdemeanor theft convictions in the state of Ohio.

Fox was represented in court by public defender Michael Henneberry. Garltic was represented by assistant public defender James Andreoni. Prosecuting the case was Bureau County State’s Attorney Patrick Herrmann.

On Oct. 25, 2012, the Princeton Police Department received calls from two fast food restaurants in Princeton reporting they had been the victim of a quick change scam. They reported a female driver came to the drive-up window and purchased a small amount of food with a $50 bill. Once the driver had been given her change, she stated she had been short-changed $20. The employee gave the driver an extra $20. Once it was determined the cash register was short $20, the Princeton Police Department was called.

A description of the vehicle was put out over the radio, and the vehicle was stopped in Henry County by the Illinois State Police. Garltic was the driver of the vehicle, and Fox was the front seat passenger. Their brother was in the rear seat of the vehicle.

Further investigation by the Illinois State Police, Princeton Police Department and Geneseo Police Department determined Fox and Garltic had set off from the state of Ohio with a cache of $50 bills intending to perform the quick change scheme. It was also determined in their interviews the individuals had entered at least three different stores in Bureau County. Fox was charged with entering one store to commit the quick change scheme with burglary. Garltic was charged with entering a separate store to commit a theft. It was subsequently determined that those stores had been victimized as well.

Both Fox and Garltic were convicted of criminal offenses in Henry County as well. The brother was not charged in Bureau County.

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