SARASOTA -- A Sarasota woman has been arrested and charged with felony grand theft after Sarasota police detectives say she stole nearly $500 from Sarasota County Youth Baseball Inc.
Janet Best, 45, was arrested Tuesday afternoon. She served as the treasurer for the SCYB but resigned when criminal activity was discovered.
Between Aug. 28-30, detectives said, Best was working with a volunteer at the concession stand when the volunteer noticed Best would conduct transactions with customers but not type anything into the cash register's computer.
Other volunteers took note of what Best was doing and noticed she was keeping a written log of the amount of the transactions, which she was not putting in the cash register, detectives said.
Volunteers captured cell phone video of Best taking money from the register and placing it into her back pocket, detectives said. The video was sent to the SCYB staff and Best was ordered to go home by the vice president. She left without incident.
Detectives reviewed the video and said it showed Best not always typing sales into the cash register as required. Detectives said the video also appeared to show Best taking money out of the register and placing it into her back pocket.
Detectives said Best is also seen on video looking around to see if anyone is watching her actions, logging the sales omitted from the register into a written journal and slyly opening the register and handling the money.
A total of $477.25 was taken and later returned by Best's mother after the criminal activity was discovered, detectives said. Best's mother served as secretary and resigned when Best resigned as treasurer.
"This individual is stealing from children in our city. It's despicable," said Lt. Randy Boyd of Sarasota Police Criminal Investigations division. "If anyone thinks they can take money from our children and our youth programs without consequences, they are mistaken. We will catch them and work to prosecute them."
In addition to the grand theft charge, Best has been charged with a narcotics violation.
Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to call detective Dwayne Shellhammer at 941-954-7014 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477) or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com