Theft trial hears about debit transactions

A former employee of a store in Red Deer is on trial this week, accused of using the businesses’s debit machine to steal more than $26,000.

A former employee of a store in Red Deer is on trial this week, accused of using the businesses’s debit machine to steal more than $26,000.

Allegations against Jennifer Dunn, 32, were brought to police in April 2006, when store owner Brent Stromsmoe laid a complaint based on discrepancies his accounting firm found in his records.

Cpl. Francois Decelles, who was on general assignment with the Red Deer City RCMP at the time, testified on Monday that he performed a series of records searches.

In introducing his findings, Decelles testified that the debit machines are set up to allow a retail clerk to refund amounts that have been accidentally overcharged on debit purchases.

He listed a series of refund transactions that exactly matched deposits to two bank accounts, one in Dunn’s name and the other a joint account with her husband. The transactions totalled $26,655.08, including $13,648.30 to her personal account and $13,006.78 to the joint account.

Other witnesses testified to questions of whether there was a sexual or romantic relationship between Dunn and Stromsmoe.

Const. Benjamin Martin Burke, who worked in Olds from 2005 through 2010, said he was asked in March 2006 to look into Dunn’s allegations that Stromsmoe had assaulted her. He said he interviewed her and later passed the investigation onto a female officer.

Burke said the file remained active with a number of officers involved until the fall of 2007, when a senior officer decided that no charges would be laid.

Stromsmoe, 62, then testified under questioning from Crown prosecutor Wayne Silliker that he was diagnosed in 2004 with Parkinson’s disease and had suffered behaviour and other mental affects from a drug that was part of his treatment.

Stromsmoe, a lifetime resident of Olds, said the drug created behaviour changes, which led him to form the gambling addiction that last year resulted in the end of his marriage.

He said he also suffers short- and long-term memory loss as a result of the treatment.

He couldn’t remember if he harboured any romantic feelings for Dunn, whom he said he has known since she was a child of five or six years old.

Stromsmoe said he employed her at a gas bar he owned in Olds and then hired her at the store he and his former wife operated in Red Deer.

But he could not remember when those two terms of employment took place, nor could he remember the reason he hired Dunn for the Red Deer store.

He said there were a number of times that she was left to run the store while fed his addiction.

The trial resumes today in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.

Just Posted

Ella Stoner, five, is ready to cut off her hair and donate it to A Child’s Voice Foundation. (Photo by Lauren Stoner Photography)
Central Alberta girl to donate her ‘princess hair’ to A Child’s Voice Foundation

A five-year-old girl from Rimbey has never had a haircut before. Now,… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr
Central Alberta MLAs comment on UCP members kicked out of caucus

A pair of central Alberta MLAs have commented on the two United… Continue reading

Contributed photo
Johanna Hannaford: Central Alberta designer offers inclusive clothing

By Stephanie Rhodes Local designer Johanna Hannaford’s inclusive clothing creations are smashing… Continue reading

Red life-ring with splash
Started from the bottom: How a family business started and grew in central Alberta

By Carina Moran We started our business in the basement of our… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Zack MacEwen (71), Travis Boyd (72) and Jimmy Vesey (24) celebrate a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during third period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 15, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Big third period lifts Vancouver Canucks to 4-1 victory over Edmonton Oilers

Canucks 4 Oilers 1 EDMONTON — Matthew Highmore scored twice in the… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy
Canada’s vaccine rollout operation won’t miss a beat with new military leader: expert

DARTMOUTH — The sudden departure of the senior military officer in charge… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Quebec premier argues province has power to amend constitution in letter to Trudeau

MONTREAL — Quebec Premier François Legault has written a letter to Prime… Continue reading

A demonstrator stands in front of riot police officers during a banned protest in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in Paris, Saturday, May, 15, 2021. Marches in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were being held Saturday in a dozen French cities, but the focus was on Paris where riot police countered organizers who said they would defy a ban on the protest, ordered on the grounds that it risked turning violent. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Police fire tear gas on banned Palestinian march in Paris

PARIS (AP) — French riot police fired tear gas and used water… Continue reading

Photo by The Associated Press
NYC Pride parade bans police; Gay officers ‘disheartened’

NEW YORK (AP) — Organizers of New York City’s Pride events said… Continue reading

Welcoming cowboy boots at the historic and colourful Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne near Drumheller, Alta., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. The bar and hotel are up for sale. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘It was a going concern’: Remaining bar and hotel in Alberta coal ghost town for sale

WAYNE, Alta. — Built during the First World War, it survived the… Continue reading

A letter from a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 is shown in an undated handout photo. A team of researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to solve the mystery of whether a letter in a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 was indeed from a young victim of Titanic shipwreck or simply a hoax. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, N. Beaudry, UQAR *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Real or hoax? Quebec scholars probe mystery letter allegedly from Titanic passenger

MONTREAL — Researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to… Continue reading

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau takes part in a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication between the federal Transport Department and the Canadian Transportation Agency regarding passenger refunds throws into question the independence of the CTA, an arm’s-length body. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Emails reveal close communication between government, transport regulator on refunds

OTTAWA — Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication… Continue reading

Most Read