NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – A woman was charged and arraigned today on charges of stealing about $800 from Target stores in a “short change” scheme. Ashlie Jane Pentard, 29, Long Beach, is charged with eight felony counts of second degree burglary. If convicted on all counts, she faces a maximum sentence of seven years and eight months in state prison. Pentard is being held on $75,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. She is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Dec. 15, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-7, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.
Between May 5, 2015, and Dec. 3, 2015, Pentard is accused of stealing approximately $100 while checking out at different Target stores in Irvine and Costa Mesa. On eight separate occasions, she is accused of checking out with a bottle of water and sometimes a low-value item. Pentard is accused of paying with a $100 bill and as the cashier is making change, the defendant is accused of changing her mind and handing over smaller bills and asking for her $100 bill to be returned. After the cashier returns the correct $100 bill, Pentard is accused of switching out the $100 bill with a smaller bill while the cashier is not looking and then claiming she received back the wrong bill. The defendant is accused of making a scene in order to confuse the cashier, who then gives her another $100 bill. Pentard is accused of then leaving the scene.
Prior to Dec. 3, 2015, Pentard was suspected of running the above “short change” scheme at other Target stores in Orange County and out of state and was under surveillance by the Irvine Police Department (IPD), who investigated this case.
On Dec. 3, 2015, IPD detectives observed the defendant committing second degree burglary at a Target store in Costa Mesa and subsequently arrested her in the parking lot without incident.
The investigation is ongoing.
Orange County District Attorney / Case # 15HF1492 / December 7, 2015