SARASOTA, Fla. – September 23, 2015 – 11:30 a.m.
Janet L. Best, 45, of Woodmont Drive, Sarasota, has been charged with Felony Grand Theft after Sarasota Police Detectives say she stole nearly $500 from Sarasota County Youth Baseball, Inc. (SCYB). She was arrested Tuesday afternoon. Best served as the Treasurer for the SCYB but resigned when criminal activity was discovered.
Between August 28, 2015 and August 30, 2015, Detectives say Best was working with a volunteer at the concession stand when the volunteer noticed Best would conduct transactions with customers but not type anything into the cash register’s computer. Other volunteers took note of what Best was doing and noticed she was keeping a written log of the amount of the transactions which she was not putting in the cash register.
Volunteers captured cell phone video of Best taking money from the register and placing into her back pocket. The video was sent to the SCYB staff and Best was ordered to go home by the Vice President and left without incident. Due to the ongoing investigation, the video is unable to be released at this time.
Detectives reviewed the video and it showed Best not always typing sales into the cash register as required. The video also appeared to show Best taking money out of the register and placing it into her back pocket. Best is also seen on video looking around to see if anyone is watching her actions, logging the sales omitted from the register into a written journal and slyly opening the register and handling the money. A total of $477.25 was taken and later returned by Best’s mother after criminal activity was discovered. Best’s mother served as Secretary and resigned when Best resigned as Treasurer.
“This individual is stealing from children in our city. It’s despicable,” said Lt. Randy Boyd, Sarasota Police Criminal Investigations Division. “If anyone thinks they can take money from our children and our youth programs without consequences, they are mistaken. We will catch them and will work to prosecute them,” said Boyd.
In addition to the grand theft charge, Best has been charged with a narcotics violation. Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to call Detective Dwayne Shellhammer at 941-954-7014 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477) or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com