The Free Press

MADELIA — An employee is accused of stealing over $26,000 from the Hispanic market in Madelia.

Deborah Elizama Soria, 43, of Eagle Lake, was charged with felony theft Monday in Watonwan County District Court.

The owner of the Fiesta Market in Madelia reported in December she suspected Soria was skimming money, according to a court complaint. She discovered the thefts after installing security cameras in November, the owner said.

The market has a check-cashing service. Each time Soria cashed a customer’s check, camera footage allegedly shows her take more money out of the register than needed to cash the check. Soria then stepped out of the view of cameras each time, the charges say.

The owner tracked cash compared to sales receipts each day Soria worked in November and December and reported there were shortages totaling more than $26,500.

The owner said she suspected Soria had also been skimming funds before the cameras were installed. Soria lived lavishly despite working only at the market part time, the owner said. And she reportedly was hostile about the security cameras being installed and asked questions about how they worked.

The Madelia police chief obtained a warrant to review Soria’s banking records and allegedly found many large cash deposits.

Soria refused to talk to police about the allegations.

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