BUFORD -- A Kmart employee caught stealing more than $12,000 worth of gold rings and necklaces told authorities she did it to help pay her mortgage, officials said.
Stephanie Blair, 25, of Sugar Hill, is charged with two counts of theft by taking in connection with a string of high-dollar thefts at the Buford retailer.
A loss prevention officer called Gwinnett police Saturday to report he'd noticed two rosary necklaces and four diamond rings missing while conducting jewelry audits. Surveillance video showed Blair pocketing the items from display cases and exiting the store on two occasions, according to a Gwinnett police report.
When confronted, Blair agreed to return the items, the report states.
In an interview with police, Blair "stated she stole the items to help pay for mortgage," an officer wrote. "(She) said she knew it was wrong and was sorry."
Blair was arrested and charged with felonies based on the value of the pinched jewelry.
Stolen merchandise included two diamond engagement rings (worth $2,669 each), a yellow gold diamond ring ($1,599), a diamond bridal ring ($1,169), and two rosary necklaces ($1,999 each), the report states.
Blair posted $22,400 bond the day of her arrest. She could not be reached for comment Thursday.
A human resources representative at Kmart said Blair is no longer employed there.