Saturday April 27, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- A Brattleboro woman has admitted stealing wallets and a purse at local businesses earlier this year.

Amanda Krause, 32, also pleaded guilty to taking merchandise from two Putney Road businesses in late March and early April.

All told, Krause's plea agreement with prosecutors calls for six to 16 months in prison along with entry into Brattleboro Community Justice Center's reparative program for offenders.

"The defendant really did damage the community as a whole as a result of this conduct," said David Gartenstein, Windham County deputy state's attorney.

Brattleboro police said Krause on Feb. 19 took a wallet from a customer at Mocha Joe's and, on the same day, stole a wallet at Brattleboro Food Co-op.

In the co-op case, a customer eating lunch said she felt a tug on her purse, which was hanging on the back of her chair. She questioned Krause, who was seated behind her and "seemed nervous and agitated," police wrote in a court affidavit.

The victim reported the theft to a manager, who stopped Krause as she left the store and asked her to empty her pockets, police said. The manager found nothing suspicious.

A co-op employee later discovered the wallet -- minus $11 to $15 in cash -- in the rest room trash.

Krause admitted to taking a much larger amount of money on Feb. 14 at China Buffet on Putney Road in Brattleboro. Gartenstein said Krause swiped a purse containing more than $900, leading to her plea to a grand larceny charge.


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She also pleaded guilty to two counts of petit larceny in connection with the thefts at Mocha Joe's and the co-op.

Also, Krause pleaded to two counts of retail theft.

The first incident happened March 27 when Krause took a bottle of Hennessy liquor from Rite Aid on Putney Road.

And on April 6, police responded to Fireside True Value on Putney Road to investigate the theft of merchandise valued at approximately $500. Missing items included a drill, a saw and a gas-powered leaf blower.

The next day, officers again responded to the hardware store for a report of a person who was trying to return the stolen merchandise.

Police say a description matched Krause, who was found on Putney Road.

Krause admitted to committing the retail thefts and also the wallet thefts at Mocha Joe's and at the co-op, Brattleboro police Sgt. Mark Carignan wrote in a court document.

Gartenstein said Krause may be under investigation for other incidents and is wanted by authorities in Hinsdale, N.H.

In connection with her guilty pleas, Krause will be required to make restitution. Also, Gartenstein said Krause also will have to serve an additional one to six months in prison if she does not complete the community justice center's program.

Mike Faher can be reached at mfaher@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.