Woman Faces Theft, Other Charges in Sewickley Business Scams
Sewickley police said the 40-year-old woman is facing several counts, including theft and receiving stolen property.
An Aliquippa woman is facing numerous charges accused of scamming cash from several Sewickley businesses.
Sewickley police have charged Sharon Lepore, 40, with three counts each of theft and receiving stolen property, two counts of criminal attempt and one count of conspiracy.
Police said Lepore admitted to scamming businesses first to support a drug habit, but then as a way to get fast money. Police said Lepore's mode of operation was to take an item off a store shelf, pretend she overpaid for it and demand a refund, all without producing a receipt.
Janet Daugherty, owner of Tapas, reported to police that Lepore came into her business twice, once on July 21 when she claimed her husband had purchased two bottles of linen wash but was charged for four. Lepore wanted a $45 refund for two bottles, but when Daugherty went to check her receipt log, police said Lepore left the store. She returned Aug. 11 and took a baby outfit from a shelf, claiming she purchased the outfit a couple weeks ago but that it didn’t fit her child, police said. Lepore was told the store only carried two of the outfits and that the price tag would have been removed after purchase. Police said Lepore ran from the store.
Similar incidents were also reported at Robinson’s Home and Garden, Mak Studio and Penguin Bookshop. In February, police said Lepore grabbed a gallon of fertilizer in Robinson's and demanded a refund. She was given $40 before the store manager realized she never paid for fertlizer.
Police said the store also received a call July 31 from a woman named Amy, believed to be Lepore, in which the woman demanded the store give her husband a $60 refund for a bag of grass seed. She claimed she purchased three bags but was charged for four, police said. Richard Sweger, no age or address given, then came to Robinsons, but was denied the refund and left the store in a hurry, police said.
On Aug. 8, police said Lepore also went to Mak Studio asking for a $70 refund on a pair of jeans, claiming she had already talked to the manager about overpaying.
Police said all of the reports were similar to an October incident at Penguin Bookshop, when police said Lepore claimed she was charged double for two calendars and credited $29.96.
All of the stores were able to identify Lepore in a photo lineup. Police said she turned herself into Moon Township police, where an arrest warrant had been issued for similar thefts, police said.
Police said Lepore admitted to multiple thefts in Sewickley and multiple other attempts. She also apologized and offered to pay restitution.
Police said they also charged Sweger with criminal conspiracy and criminal attempt for his participation.