• 36°

Woman pleads not guilty to theft

An Austin woman pleaded not guilty to felony theft Thursday after she allegedly stole $6,000 from a house’s safe last year because she didn’t feel she was being paid enough to “house-sit.”

Patricia Marie Viktora, 64, appeared in Mower County court Thursday on the single criminal count.

According to a criminal complaint, police were notified of the incident on Dec. 3 when a 64-year-old man and his 87-year-old mother returned home from a trip.

The two noticed nothing disturbed throughout the house, located on the 2700 block of 12th Street Southwest, but they did discover $6,000 missing from a safe. The man said he believed Viktora was the only one to have access to the home as they had left her to watch it.

Initially, Viktora told authorities that she had nothing to do with the missing money, the complaint states. Instead, she claimed she saw a “suspicious” man near the home while the couple was away and indicated it may have been him.

However, Viktora’s written statement differed, and upon further police questioning, she admitted to taking the money.

She said she thought she had only taken $2,700 from the safe, the complaint states. Viktora said she committed the theft because she wasn’t being fairly compensated for watching the home.