Public Information Office
76 $100 BILLS SWAPPED FOR FAKES IN FOOLPROOF RUSE AT WALMART; EMPLOYEE ARRESTED
A Deltona Walmart employee was arrested Monday night after other employees noticed something funny about a $10,000 bundle of cash in the store’s safe.
It was a blue hue that gave the fake bills away.
On closer inspection: $7,600 in bills from the middle of the pack of $100 notes were counterfeit. They weren’t just bluish. They had a different thickness, texture and were printed with the words “FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY.”
A Walmart cash office associate first noticed the fake money on Sunday and alerted a manager. After inspecting the bills and counting 76 counterfeit ones, the manager wrapped the bundle in a white paper marked “DO NOT USE” and locked it back in the safe.
On Monday, when a loss prevention officer went back to the safe to inspect the counterfeit money, the bundle was still there – but the fake bills were missing.
He went to review surveillance video and noticed that just after 6 a.m. Monday, employee Xiomara Matias-Cruz (age 32, DOB 12/2/1984) went into the cash office to count and verify the money in the safe, which she did at the start of every shift. She seemed to be looking for something specific. Then she found the white “DO NOT USE” package, opened it, made a phone call and appeared to take something from the bundle. She left the building, got in her vehicle and drove away – only 15 minutes after her shift started.
On further review of surveillance footage, the loss prevention officer discovered a video from early Friday morning showing Matias-Cruz opening the same safe, fumbling with something and reaching in her pockets. She was also holding unbundled cash in her hand.
On Monday evening, a deputy contacted Matias-Cruz at her home in Deltona and arrested her on charges of grand theft and obtaining property by fraud.
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