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Woman faces three theft charges for alleged false ink returns

WILLMAR -- A 41-year-old Willmar woman made her first court appearance Tuesday on three felony theft charges for allegedly making almost $5,800 in false ink cartridge returns at a local office supply store. Kelly Marie Lipinski was released on her personal recognizance and ordered to have no contact with the Office Max store or employees.

Her next court appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court is Jan. 11.

According to the complaint, Office Max loss prevention personnel contacted Willmar Police in September and reported there were an unusually high number of returns of cash refunds at the local store and recorded as made by Lipinski.

The majority of the sales were for ink cartridges, which typically were not reinventoried because they are usually opened when returned. The Office Max officials had tracked down a customer who had purportedly made a return, logged by Lipinski. The person denied making the return. The officials had already interviewed Lipinski, who allegedly admitted to making the false returns, then taking cash refunds at the end of her shift.

She reported the theft was of $3,682.04 on 44 returns this year, and about $4,800 last year, She had given a written admission to the store officials.

Lipinski was interviewed by police and explained she had looked up the electronic receipts in the store's computer, picked cash transactions, entered a refund and then took the cash at the end of her shift.

The total theft was for $5,776.67 from July 2008 to August 2009.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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