A 59-year-old Pasadena woman admitted Monday to stealing more than $86,000 from the Howard County produce business where she worked as a bookkeeper, police said.
Joan Elizabeth Krempa, of the 8400 block of Miramar Road, pleaded guilty to a single count of theft of more than $500 in Howard County Circuit Court.
Krempa said she forged the signature of the owner of Parade Produce in Jessup between February and November of 2008; police said she wrote checks amounting to $60,501 and deposited the money in her personal account.
Krempa also ordered a check card that gave her access to the company's checking account and stole $25,600 more, some of which she used to pay for bail in an unrelated criminal case in Anne Arundel County, police said.
The owner of the company discovered the theft while Krempa was in New York attending a dog show. Krempa was fired in September 2008, but three months later tried to pass a stolen check at an Anne Arundel check-cashing store, authorities said. Police were called to the store after a clerk called Krempa's former employer to verify her identity.
She was arrested that day after leading police on a car chase, police said, in which she crashed into a police cruiser and resisted arrest.
Krempa is to be sentenced on May 13. Howard County Senior Assistant State's Attorney Colleen McGuinn is seeking a sentence of 12 to 15 years.