Theft charge

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 16, 2007

Burger King manager accused

of stealing $12K


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Selma businesses are cracking down on employee theft, which can put a strain on a business, and in some instances, close them down.

Over the past week, two local fast food chain managers have been arrested and charged with theft. The former manager at McDonald’s in Wal-Mart, Kesa Lashun Williams, was released Thursday from the Dallas County Jail on $15,000 bond, charged with theft of property.

Brenda Purifoy, 39, a former Burger King manager, was arrested Friday and charged with theft. Purifoy was released Friday night on $30,000 bond in connection with the alleged theft of about $12,000 in deposits, according to police reports.

Purifoy reportedly admitted to taking about $2,000, but told police she lost four different bank deposits that were never made, which she was responsible for.

Det. Jeff Hardy of the Selma Police Department said law enforcement was called as a result of four missing deposits that should have been made from Aug. 29 through Sept. 1. Purifoy was fired Sept. 4 at Burger King in Selma, but had since been hired as a manager at Burger King in Montgomery off Atlanta Highway, Hardy said.

Purifoy’s charges stem from allegations made by the Selma restaurant.

Williams is facing theft charges from McDonald’s, and FootLocker in Birmingham.

Calhoun Foods’ former produce manager Beverly Seroy, was charged with theft in connection with goods and cash, and was recently terminated.

Missouri Small Business Development Centers, part of the University of Missouri Extension, has studied the affects of employee theft. According to its Web site, theft by employees of small businesses &8220;totals nearly $40 billion in this country each year.&8221;

And it is estimated that up to 75 percent of all employee theft goes unnoticed.

District Attorney Michael Jackson admits employee theft is a problem, which in some instances starts out as borrowing. He said he knows of instances where employee theft either closed or nearly closed businesses down.

Hardy said he called Purifoy on Friday and asked her to meet with detectives from the Criminal Investigation Division to discuss five missing deposits.