Longtime Swanson’s employee accused of taking thousands of dollars from the store

A longtime employee of the Swanson’s supermarket in Hoquiam has been charged with first-degree theft in connection with allegations she stole thousands of dollars from the store while working as a grocery checker.

Debera Pickar, 53, allegedly told police that within the last five years, she had taken an estimated $10,000 to $12,000 from the store, saying she used the cash for household expenses and help a family member.

Court documents state Pickar had been an employee at the store for almost 30 years.

Hoquiam Police were first made aware of the allegations in early February, after an office manager reported she suspected Pickar of embezzling money.

The investigation started after an employee told management he had seen Pickar take money out of the till at the end of her shift on several occasions. According to court documents, Pickar was seen taking money from the register several times through surveillance footage and by employees.

It was later determined that Pickar was processing orders at the register as saved transactions, which don’t show up on the “Z tape,” that shows all transactions made by a clerk at the end of a shift. This allowed her to add up how much extra money she had in the till so she could determine how much she could take home at the end of the day, according to court papers.

On Feb. 16, officers with the Hoquiam Police Department went into the store and confronted Pickar.

She told police the most cash she ever pocketed from the till was a little more than a hundred dollars while the smallest amount was $20, according to court documents. She estimated she would take the extra cash three to four days a week during a five-day work week.


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