Man pleads guilty in Girl Scout cash box theft - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man pleads guilty in Girl Scout cash box theft

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who snatched a cash box from a Girl Scout selling cookies in front of a Clairemont grocery store pleaded guilty Thursday to felony identity theft and misdemeanor theft charges.

Erik Mullen, 28, will be sentenced April 21 at the downtown courthouse.

Deputy District Attorney Kimball Denton said the cash box theft was just one part of a two-day spree that involved identity theft and drug use.

On March 11, Mullen stole a purse from a woman at a restaurant, and an accomplice named Brandi Wright later cashed a check from the purse at a Moneytree store, the prosecutor said.

Wright - who also pleaded guilty to felony identity theft - tried to cash a check the next day at another Moneytree, but the teller became suspicious and declined, Denton said.

The prosecutor said Mullen later "took advantage of an easy theft opportunity" by grabbing a cash box containing cookie proceeds from a sales table set up by a girl and her mother outside a Vons store in the Clairemont Town Square shopping center on Clairemont Drive around 3 p.m. on March 12.

Mullen dropped his cellphone as he fled.

The victims told reporters there was more than $400 in the box that was taken.

"In the investigation, we learned that they used the money to buy heroin on Craigslist," Denton said.

Wright, 20, is scheduled to be sentenced the same day as Mullen.


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