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Norfolk-area woman sentenced to probation for cash refund scheme

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MASSENA - A Norfolk-area woman charged with submitting fraudulent receipts to receive cash refunds at Walmart has been placed on probation for three years after pleading guilty to a single count of petit larceny in a plea bargain agreement that satisfied six other misdemeanor charges.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson also fined Rebecca E. Despaw, 21, of 1952 County Route 38, Norfolk, $100 and ordered her to make restitution of $194.63 and pay $50 to submit a DNA sample to the state data base for the petit larceny conviction.

Village police had charged Despaw with three counts of petit larceny and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child at the Massena Walmart. Police said Despaw engaged in return fraud on two occasions on Jan. 8 and again on Jan. 13 in the presence of her two children.

She reportedly brought a receipt from a past purchase to the store, put similar items in her cart and then attempted to return them for cash. The items included a deep fryer with a two-year service plan, a pair of rubber boots and a vehicle battery. The items had a combined value of $147.14. She also reportedly shoplifted from the Walmart store on Nov. 27 a dog harness and an Armor All wax package; merchandise valued at $29.80. In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Aaron J. Cummings, 20, of 483 Sand Road, Constable, was fined $25 and a $125 surcharge and was ordered to perform 15 hours of community service after a petit larceny count was reduced to a disorderly conduct violation.

Village police had charged Cummings with petit larceny Saturday stemming from an investigation into an incident that took place Oct. 18 at Price Chopper. He reportedly left the store without paying for $100 worth of merchandise.

Cummings told police he had gone to the store that morning with the intention of stealing items on his back to school list ranging from binders and dividers to pens and index cards. He admitted he had also shoplifted shampoo, deodorant and soda.

■ Tanya L. Matthie, 23, of 101 Canton Manor, Canton previously listing an address of 193 Center St., Apt. 6, Massena, was granted an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal with a stipulation she perform 15 hours of community service.

Village police had charged Matthie with petit larceny after she reportedly shoplifted $53.76 worth of merchandise from the Massena Walmart on March 13. Matthie had been picked up on a warrant on July 29 in Watertown when she reported to the Jefferson County Department of Social Services seeking bus fare so she could travel to Potsdam.

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