Short change scams

By

Tatum O'Neal The movie "Paper Moon"

Long Beach woman was arraigned Monday in Orange County Superior Court on allegations that she stole hundreds of dollars from Target stores in Orange County in a "short change" scheme.

Ashlie Jane Pentard, 29, was charged with eight felony counts of second-degree burglary. She is accused of stealing $800 while checking out at Target locations in Irvine and Costa Mesa between May and December, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

If convicted, Pentard could face a maximum seven years and eight months in state prison, according to the district attorney's office.

Police think Pentard made small cash purchases at the stores, eight times paying with a $100 bill. As the cashier made change, authorities allege, Pentard would say she had changed her mind and asked for the $100 bill to be returned. After the cashier returned the bill, authorities say, Pentard would keep it while switching to a smaller bill while the cashier wasn't looking and then claiming she had received the wrong bill.
  
Police said she would make a scene to confuse the cashier, who would then give her another $100 bill.

Investigators believe Pentard worked a similar scam about 150 times since 2013 at Target stores in California, Arizona and Utah, stealing more than $10,000.

Police said Irvine detectives watched Pentard use the scam at a Costa Mesa Target store on Thursday and took her into custody.

She is being held in Orange County Jail with bail set at $75,000 and must prove the money is from a legitimate source before posting bond.

She is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Dec. 15.

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