Starbucks manager steals $38,000, police say

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A Starbucks manager is accused of stealing thousands from the coffee company to pay her student loan and credit card debt.

Carlin Cook, 29, was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office Wednesday with theft from a business setting over $10,000. If convicted of the charge, she faces up to 10 years in prison and/or fined up to $25,000.

She was released from jail on a $10,000 signature bond.

According to the criminal complaint, Cook was a store manager at Starbucks, 2805 South Green Bay Road, when a company official noted several missing deposits between March 2 and May 16. The amount missing totaled about $38,000.

During the internal investigation, company officials learned that Cook would give excuses to the armored truck staff about why the deposit wasn’t ready. A video surveillance camera showed Cook taking the deposit bag on one of the days.

When confronted, Cook admitted to taking the money. But she didn’t think it totaled almost $38,000. She told investigators that she had financial difficulties. She owed $80,000 in student loans after she graduated from college and had $5,000 in credit card debt. Cook paid cash and did not keep track of how much money she took, how much she spent or how much she paid to her debtors, according to the criminal complaint.

A preliminary hearing has been set for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 6 in front of Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.