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Theft charge reduced for woman accused of stealing from employer

Crime Watch

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Ashliegh Dawn Sparks | Rexburg Police Department

REXBURG — A woman accused of stealing from her employer is no longer facing a felony after prosecutors amended the charge.

Madison County Prosecutors filed an amended criminal complaint for 22-year-old Ashliegh Dawn Sparks and she is now charged with misdemeanor petit theft. When police arrested Sparks in November 2019, she was charged with felony grand theft.

Court documents indicate prosecutors reduced the charge if Sparks agreed to pay full restitution.

Sparks worked at Apple Tree Learning Center in 2018 when the alleged crimes occurred. Police told she took money from a small cash box over a three-month period and the manager caught her on a hidden camera. Rexburg Police Assistant Chief Gary Hagen said the company discovered $1,350 missing during those months.

RELATED: Woman arrested for grand theft after she’s caught on hidden camera, say police

When investigators spoke with Sparks, she told them she was pregnant and missing days of work due to sickness. She said the financial hardship led her to take the money. Sparks told her husband somebody left the cash on their doorstep to help them out, according to detectives.

“She admitted to taking the money box behind the business with a screwdriver and prying it open,” Hagen said. “She discarded the safe but took the cash and everything in it.”

Sparks is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 25 where she will enter a plea.