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Woman sentenced for theft at AJ's

A 37-year-old Alexandria woman was sentenced to 180 days in the Douglas County Jail after she pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor theft charge — taking money from AJ's Restaurant in Osakis.

Kristy Ann Heuchert was initially charged with felony theft but that charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

Judge Timothy Churchwell stayed 160 days of the jail sentence for two years, meaning she won't have to serve the time if she stays out of trouble while she is on probation.

Several conditions were attached to the sentence — she must have no misdemeanor violations, remain in contact with her probation agent, notify the agent if she is arrested, obtain permission before leaving the state, submit to random searches, cooperate and be truthful with her agent, avoid alcohol and drugs, and not possess firearms.

Heuchert was also ordered to pay $235 in fines, fees and restitution.

Osakis police were notified of the alleged theft on Dec. 13, 2016 when the owners of AJ's met with an officer and told him they had noticed money missing from daily deposits since Nov. 1, 2016. Heuchert began working at the restaurant in April 2016.

They provided a written log of the daily amounts that were missing, which totaled $5,900.

The owners explained that the restaurant doesn't make daily bank drops and they keep the bank bag with several envelopes of cash in a desk in an unlocked office.

When the owners discovered money was missing, they installed a camera in the office and said they observed Heuchert taking money from the desk drawer.

According to the criminal complaint, an officer talked with Heuchert and she admitted taking money.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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