DECATUR — A former Decatur credit union employee was arrested Tuesday after police said she stole more than $66,500 from the accounts of two customers and spent the cash on eating out and family members.

Karen S. Buxton, 49, was booked on a preliminary charge of theft over $10,000. Preliminary charges are subject to review by the state’s attorney's office. A sworn affidavit from the Macon County Sheriff’s Office said she was suspended from ADM Credit Union on Oct. 23, and management told police it was found she had stolen $300 from her cash drawer on that day as well.

Buxton, who is free after posting $10,000 bond and is due to be arraigned Dec. 29, does not yet have an attorney listed in court documents. A call seeking comment from the credit union was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Writing in the affidavit, Sgt. Roger Pope said Buxton had been suspended on the same day an investigation was sparked after a theft victim alerted police.

“An investigation and audit of the credit union was conducted, which showed (the victim) had $31,402 stolen from his account between the dates of Nov. 3, 2016, and Aug. 15,” Pope wrote.

Under police questioning, Pope said Buxton also admitted to stealing an almost identical amount from a female customer: $31,320 between March 3 and Oct. 10 this year.

Pope said Buxton told police she had none of the money remaining after spending it on "eating out" and helping family members with bills.

Pope said she managed to keep her stealing secret for so long by enrolling her victims in online banking. Statements were sent to fictitious email accounts to avoid statements being sent to the customers’ homes, which would have exposed the thefts.

“It was also discovered that there were some transactions that had forged signatures …” Pope wrote.

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Staff Writer

Courts and public safety reporter for the Herald & Review.