Convenience store manager charged with theft of receipts

August 31, 1994|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Sun Staff Writer

The manager of an Ellicott City Royal Farm store charged with theft in Howard County is being held by Michigan authorities after customs officials said he tried to enter Canada with $12,000 in cash stashed in two paper lunch bags under his car seat Monday.

Howard County police have charged Timothy Thomas Tuerke, 37, of the 8400 block of Oakton Lane in Ellicott City, with several counts of theft from the convenience store, spokesman Sgt. Steve Keller said. He is accused of stealing more than $18,000 in cash over a four-day period from the store, police said.

Mr. Tuerke is being held in the Chippewa County Sheriff's Office in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. He faces extradition within two weeks to Howard County, where he is accused of stealing money from the the convenience store's daily receipts.

Sheri Crosby, an assistant manager, said that Mr. Tuerke was known as a good manager who worked to boost sales, keep the store clean and make sure employees were courteous to customers. She said he worked at least 15 hours a day at the 24-hour convenience store.

Ms. Crosby said she last saw him Sunday night, when she left the store at 11 p.m. She said he agreed to stay until about 2 a.m, and that he also asked her to fill in for him for two hours the next morning. He never showed up, she said.

"It was 10 a.m., then 10:30 a.m. I knew something was wrong," she said. "He had me come in on my day off and never showed." At that point, Ms. Crosby notified the store's area supervisor.

Sergeant Keller said a Royal Farm company supervisor notified police at 3 p.m. Monday after discovering that cash deposits had not been made for several days, although deposit slips had been completed.

The supervisor told police that the money was not in the store's safe.

About 6 p.m. Monday, Canadian officials stopped Mr. Tuerke, who police say is originally from Michigan, at the Ontario border and refused him entry.

"He claimed he was going sightseeing," said Howard County Detective Patrick McDonald. "They just felt he was suspicious. At that point they wouldn't allow him access."

When Mr. Tuerke's 1980 Oldsmobile was ordered back into the United States, U.S. Customs agents making a routine check of his vehicle found the bags of cash under the seat, customs officials in Michigan said.

Mr. Tuerke was arrested and turned over to Michigan deputies.

Mr. Tuerke was arrested on Aug. 19 on charges of burglary and malicious destruction of property in the break-in of a storage shed at Ashton Woods Apartments in the 8400 block of Oakton Lane. He was released on $500 bond for those charges.

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