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Ex-manager pleads guilty to Dollar Tree theft

A former manager of Austin’s Dollar Tree pleaded guilty to a felony charge that she stole $2,618.31 from the store before moving from the state.

Janet Alvarez, 36, appeared on Mower County District Court Thursday on a charge of felony theft.

According to court records, Austin Police met with another manager from the Dollar Store, 1610 17th St. NW, on July 12, 2016, about suspicions that Alvarez, a former manager who worked at the store for about eight months, had stolen from the store before leaving on vacation to Florida and Texas on July 8, 2016.

The manager came in on July 9 and noticed a computer left on and a till not closed. She found a $1,002 shortage, which she found came from two Green Dot prepaid debit cards being activated, along with the $2 activation fees.

The till had been activated with the employee number of a different employee who hadn’t worked that day.

A few days later, the manager started to suspect Alvarez of also taking a bank deposit for July 8. A bank bag containing $1,616 from that day had not been deposited, and it had not been left in the safe.

Detectives could not locate Alvarez at her Austin residence, and she had not returned to work by early August, and they believed she had moved.

Officers found she had past licenses issued in Ohio and Florida, and the investigation led to a Janet Alvarez at a northeast Austin residence and a Janet Gonzalez in Davie, Florida. Officers concluded this was the same person, and they found she had used several spellings of the names.

She had a court appearance Monday and is next due in court on June 22.