Tri-Cities Employee Theft - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-Cities Employee Theft

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TRI-CITIES, Wash. - According to the Department of Commerce employee theft costs business owners billions of dollars every year.

Police said they have seen everything from workers pocketing an extra five dollars to people embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Authorities said it is a big problem, but cash is not the only thing taken.  Reports of people adding extra hours to their payroll, stealing office supplies and overcharging customers to pocket the extra cash. 

Police are looking at surveillance tapes of a worker at the Flying J convenient store in Pasco. Management said they think the worker might have let customers leave without paying. 

West Richland Police recently arrested a Yokes employee for allegedly giving her husband 675 dollars in undeserved change from the register.

West Richland Sergeant Bill Leach said, "no matter what her reason was, there really is no good excuse for stealing."

Ryan Luckey is the manager at Brick House Pizza.  He said, "When someone needs money or help, there's always a different option than stealing."

Luckey has never caught anyone stealing but said there are cameras pointed at the register and a tight watch over the books.  He said, "If it shows up negative there's obviously a problem somewhere."

Leach said, "Don't necessarily handle it on your own.  Get your ducks in order, contact the law enforcement and let law enforcement handle it.  If they steal from one person, they will steal from another as well."

The Better Business Bureau suggested that business owners call references and past bosses of possible employees.