Sheila A. Shoemaker, 38, was taken into custody at First Financial Bank, court records said, after police were dispatched to the bank to investigate a report of theft.
According to a narrative on the case prepared by Greencastle Police Department Officer Jeff Modlin, Shoemaker had been stealing from First Financial since she began working there in 2005. She was charged with one count of Class D felony theft for each year she was employed by the bank. Indiana Statute dictates that because Shoemaker's crimes were not violent in nature, the maximum prison sentence she could receive if convicted of all counts would be 10 years.
As head teller at the bank, Shoemaker was responsible for the keeping and counting of the money in the bank's vault.
On the day she was arrested, Shoemaker's superiors First Financial conducted a vault audit that revealed a $77,921.79 shortage, as well as an audit of the cash drawer Shoemaker had been responsible for. The cash drawer was found to be $9,155 short.
The day of Shoemaker's arrest, bank officials sent Shoemaker home before calling police.
"They advised they did not think she was a flight risk," Modlin's report said. Bank officials told Modlin they had informed Shoemaker on the day of her arrest that they would be conducting a cash count on the vault and her drawer. At that point, Shoemaker advised the officials that the vault would not balance.
When the officials asked Shoemaker why that would be, court records said, Shoemaker confessed that she had been taking money since the branch opened in 2005. "Ms. Shoemaker continued by advising she estimated the total around $84,000," the report said. Shoemaker told bank officials she began by taking small amounts -- $100 or $200 at a time. Shoemaker told her superiors at the bank that "it was easy to take," court records said.
"Ms. Shoemaker continued by advising she was relieved that someone finally came in to audit the branch," Modlin's report said.
Shoemaker told the bank officials she had used the stolen money to pay bills, court records said. She said she had tried before her arrest to confess to the bank manager what she had done, but hadn't been able to muster the courage to do so. Shoemaker said the most she ever stole at one time was $2,500. She is married, and said her husband had no idea about the thefts. In an interview with Greencastle Police Department Detective Michael Collins, Shoemaker admitted to stealing the money because she knew the audit would reveal that money was missing from the vault.
"Sheila advised the last time she had stolen money was the beginning of October 2010, the dollar amount of $1,000," Collins' report said. "Sheila reported that she never bought any big item; she just took the money when the mortgage or bills were due and bought little items like Christmas gifts."
Collins advised Shoemaker that she was going to be charged with theft, then transported her to the Putnam County Jail where she was turned over to jail staff for booking.
At her initial hearing, Shoemaker pled not guilty to all charges. Public Defender Sidney Tongret was assigned to her case, and a pretrial conference was set for Dec. 16.
Over the objection of Putnam County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Justin Long, Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Headley set Shoemaker's bond at $20,000 with 10 percent authorized. She spent three days in jail before bond was posted and she was released.