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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Teller accused of stealing over $87,000 from bank

Saturday, November 6, 2010

GREENCASTLE -- A Greencastle woman is accused of stealing more than $87,000 from a local bank where she was employed as head teller.

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.

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It's something in the water.

I think Big Walnut is tainted & turning all of our fine women into thieves.

-- Posted by ProblemTransmission on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 5:30 AM

I wouldn't have much confidence in any bank that doesn't discover shortages of this magnitude for years!

-- Posted by VolunteerFF on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 8:20 AM

Are you kidding me. I agree with VolunteerFF. What the heck is a bank doing with no audits for that long. They made it too easy for this crime to have been committed. They have to take some responsibility in this matter as well. Maybe they should take less time with their fees to their customers and look under their noses.

-- Posted by Clay County Opinion on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 8:26 AM

The bank did not "make it too easy" for this crime to have been committed. And the bank certainly should not "take some responsibility"! A person made a choice. There is one person who is 100% responsible, Ms. Shoemaker. Why does society want to pass the blame? People need to be held accountable for their own actions. Times are tough for a lot of people. Although her motives may have been to support her family and make payments, she stole something that was not hers. I'm glad that she accepted the responsibility to law enforcement and owned up to what she did.

-- Posted by Whynotwrite on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 8:50 AM

Five years between audits--Hmmm. Are they hiring?

-- Posted by reckman on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 8:59 AM

I worked at a bank in Alaska for 10 years...we had monthly surprise audits conducted for each teller AND the vault...I assumed that every financial institute followed this practice. Also, the vault should have DUAL control...always...

-- Posted by pmoore9630 on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 9:11 AM

So on what day was she arrested? There is no specific date in this article.

-- Posted by LangdonUlger on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 9:13 AM

There is a profile? My neighbor's daughter was 20 when she was doing the same thing and when convicted she got a college degree while in prison. All her theft and prison and "Higher Education" paid for by we law-abiding taxpayers. Like hearing about one corrupt policeman out of a thousand, we have to believe it could happen to any of us and remember the morals and manners our parents, grandparents, religeon and school teachers tried so hard to instill in our character. I still remember my paternal grandfather telling a sobbing 7 year old to "Live your life as if your parents were looking over your shoulder at whatever you are doing." Fewer times of saying "I'm sorry for what I have done" and less regrets when trying to sleep.

-- Posted by alfr1 on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 10:25 AM

The thing I am most concerned about in this article is that the bank had not run an audit for 5 years!

-- Posted by not gullible on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 11:51 AM

I agree with not gullible, that's surely not acceptable by most banking standards.

-- Posted by localman on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 2:16 PM

I worked in banking for 15 years and there is no way this could have happened if proper audit and balance procedures were in place. Something is fishy here....

-- Posted by Momma78 on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 2:33 PM

Wow no pic we get a pic of a car crash and they didn't even put her pic on here

-- Posted by ruserious27 on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 4:43 PM


Yes she chose to take the money but the bank is partially responsible. While in college and after college I worked in banks full and part time. Each bank that I worked for had two people balancing the vault on a daily basis and we would have suprise audits monthly by corporate...so yes they are partially responsible and thank goodness my money is not in a bank that does not have proper procedure.

I agree with you Momma78.

-- Posted by girlmd on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 7:24 PM

The shame is that there is another business in town, that has been around for yrs. that allows certain people to steal, i know it sounds crazy, but if its allowed, the low lifes will take, period ! and the worst part is , that the man in charge knows this, but for some reason doesnt want bad publicity, so its allowed. Crazy world we are in !

-- Posted by undercoverbrother on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 9:37 PM

That is where our money went! My husband made a cash deposit in the night drop and it was not credited to our account. I called, he called and they said there was nothing they could do and that two people checked the night drop each morning. Did anyone else lose money in the night drop? We will be calling...not that we will get our money back, but we can try.

-- Posted by glenwood81 on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 9:38 PM

I have wondered about this bank,they have done some things that are not good business and I was about to change banks...they even called me last Saturday to tell me I didn't deposit enough money...I DIDN"T deposit money! I can't believe they don't do any audits, that's asking for trouble! I'm really sorry to hear another one of these sad stories! I thought that lady seemed really nice....

-- Posted by bekind on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 10:22 PM

This lady is a nice person, just made a bad choice. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes. Seems like to me that guidelines at this bank were not enforced, and that maybe someone else was overlooking what was going on because they were afraid of getting audited themselves???????? Sounds fishy to me in more ways than one!

-- Posted by reelsville4 on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 11:17 PM

Here we go again...

-- Posted by YNOTU2 on Sun, Nov 7, 2010, at 1:55 AM

I am sure everyone posting their comments on here about this woman are absolutely perfect human beings who never do anything wrong. I suppose it's nice to focus on someone else and their wrongdoings than to focus on your own problems. This comment is not directed at everyone that posted a comment, only certain people. Unless you personally know this woman and she is scum of the earth, mind your own business. It's not our place to judge!!! People in this town are so hypocritical, small minded and judgmental it is unbelievable. This is not Mayberry people. Actual crimes are committed everyday, even in places like this. It's not as if this woman went on a murderous rampage. You don't know her situation and neither do I. I do not know this woman, in case anyone thinks I'm defending her. Worry about your own families and your own lives.

-- Posted by ruserious27 on Sun, Nov 7, 2010, at 2:26 AM

Since when is 38 middle aged???

-- Posted by VolunteerFF on Sun, Nov 7, 2010, at 7:03 AM

I have quite a bit of money in that bank. Do I need to worry about it? I'm concerned that an audit hasn't been done before now. That's scary!

-- Posted by handsonhealer on Sun, Nov 7, 2010, at 10:25 AM

Well, now I know why I've been having all those late fees....

-- Posted by Eagle78 on Sun, Nov 7, 2010, at 2:40 PM

Speaking of audits. How about the Federal reserve has never been audited and cannot explain where at least 17 billion of bailout and stimulus money went.Banks have gotten a free ride the last 4 years with TARP and banking law changes. Let the little people get what they can!

-- Posted by exhoosier2 on Sun, Nov 7, 2010, at 10:51 PM

I try not to comment too much here, but this one has me puzzled. I've read recently where a youth (20 yr old) stole a t.v. Yeah he had a drug addiction, but was never convicted of it. How can this person steal 80,000+ $'s and the maximum she could get is 10 years? He got 12 years for taking a t.v?

-- Posted by townielove on Mon, Nov 8, 2010, at 1:00 AM

I would assume that his crime involved the burlary of someone home. By the standerds of the law a more serious crime is to break into annd steal from a home than steal from a business.

-- Posted by hardtobelieve on Mon, Nov 8, 2010, at 8:08 AM

Alls I can say is "If you cant do the time , Dont do the Crime, plain and simple!!!

-- Posted by skittlebug on Mon, Nov 8, 2010, at 9:26 AM

I've had my account at First Financial Bank for years. Those girls do everything thing to keep their customers happy. Just because one woman made a HUGE mistake doesnt mean that it should be taken out on the entire branch. Give them a break PEOPLE!!!!!!

-- Posted by dontjudge on Mon, Nov 8, 2010, at 10:46 AM

I do know this woman and she is very nice. With that said, I have lost money that I most likely will never get back and that does not make me disrespectful or in someones business. I do worry about my own family and I do not throw stones or judge others, or at least I try really hard not to. I am upset that I was victimized and was not believed by the branch manager or the head teller that I made a deposit that disappeared. I still bank there and will continue. How would you feel if this happened to you?

-- Posted by glenwood81 on Mon, Nov 8, 2010, at 12:05 PM

Where are the cameras? I know when I go into a bank, I notice all of the cameras...in front of me, behind me, behind the tellers, watching every move! I would think there would be some in the vault! You have to keep people honest and make them know they are being watched, every second of the day!

-- Posted by Sunflowermel on Tue, Nov 9, 2010, at 12:48 AM

Another local woman took a lot of money from a certain school around here. She stole a large amount!!! From two big area's of the school. This never made news!BUT she was caught!!! She was never arrested in Putnam County but this School has Vigo county ties so maybe they did it silently. So this school would not look like the morons that they really are. This same woman was fired from another school for changing her kids grades among other things. This same woman was fired from an energy company for stealing from them. Do a Psych test on these women, run a background on past jobs. There are plenty of decent non stealing women who could use one. How can you not know when somebody is robbing you blind! Somebody was not doing their job!

-- Posted by savethekids on Wed, Nov 10, 2010, at 9:12 PM

She is a very nice woman and we will miss seeing her at the bank... this is so sad...

this doesnt mean that all the girls are bad tellers just because one got caught up in the love of money.

I do disapprove of the bank not doing audits the whole time they have been open!! makes me wonder if my money is safe...

-- Posted by ec on Sat, Nov 13, 2010, at 10:34 AM

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