Police & Fire

Gurdon woman charged with theft of $75K from liquor store

A convicted bank thief faces new charges after her former employers reported the theft of more than $75,000 during the nearly two years she managed their store.

Katelynn Nicole Dickerson, 34, of Gurdon, used her authority as store manager of Little Mo’s Liquor to adjust daily deposits and inventory to rake in $75,334 over the course of 22 months, according to an affidavit filed Monday in Clark County Circuit Court.

A co-owner of the package store told investigators that Dickerson, between January 2021 and November 2022, took in a “large number” of returns on merchandise that had no proof of sale.

Prior to being manager, Dickerson allegedly took in a monthly average of $500-600, a figure that would grow to $10,000 per month once she became manager. For three months Dickerson raked in $10,000 per month in fraudulent merchandise returns and stole as much as $14,000 during another month, according to sales invoice return reports provided to investigators.

Being manager gave Dickerson “the ability to adjust the daily deposits to make them balance and to make necessary adjustments to the inventory as needed to keep the stock at a level that would not be noticed by the owners or auditors,” an affidavit states.

Dickerson is being charged with theft of property greater than $25,000, a Class B felony. Prosecutors are seeking an enhanced penalty given her status as an habitual thief: she was on supervised probation from an incident “of a similar nature” with another of her previous employers.

Dickerson was convicted in 2019 for six counts of theft-related felonies. Those convictions stemmed from complaints from First State Bank of Gurdon, where Dickerson was employed as a teller and stole $14,518 in 16 separate transactions in which Dickerson withdrew cash from customers’ accounts. Dickerson’s modus operandi was to inform other tellers the account holder had personally asked her to withdraw the cash and deliver it to them later. She was charged in that case with three counts of forgery and three counts of felony theft. 9E Circuit Judge Blake Batson sentenced Dickerson to probation and ordered her to pay $15,468 in restitution. Deputy Prosecutor Greg Vardaman on Monday filed a petition to revoke Dickerson’s probation, re-opening the 2019 case.

Dickerson was arrested earlier this year for misdemeanor theft following a complaint from Arkadelphia Walmart that she shoplifted nearly $400 worth of merchandise from the store. According to court documents, District Judge Randy Hill ordered a $1,000 fine and deferred a final ruling until April 2024.