A New Jersey Girl Scouts troop leader is turning in her sash and beret after police discovered she misplaced over $1,100 in cash from cookie sales- and effectively made up a story about being robbed.
Former Troop 80062 leader Jessica Medina made headlines earlier this month after she told police that the cookie proceeds were stolen while the troop was conducting a cookie drive at Woodbridge Center Mall.
Allegedly swiped from an envelope off the table, the cookie cash caper resulted in nationwide media coverage, which led many locals to offer thousands in donations to the troop.
The Woodbridge Police, however, weren’t so convinced. After reviewing footage, questioning witnesses and grilling Medina, it was soon discovered that the missing cash (which was allegedly in an envelope) was not from cookie sales, but was “previously submitted by the Girl Scouts to pay for scouting events such as roller skating and the Daddy-Daughter dance.”
According to the New York Post, while Medina had initially claimed the envelope had been stolen and had even placed blame on a man and woman, she later backtracked, agreeing with the police that “the envelope containing the money was accidentally discarded with the trash as the scouts cleaned up the area.”
Needless to say, Medina isn’t the troop leader anymore.
“We are surprised and very saddened at the turn of events,” said Ginny Marino, the head of the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey.
Despite officially agreeing with the findings of WPD, Medina now blames the police for “bungling” the investigation, pointing out that the accused individuals included one person with special needs.
“It became the blame game after 12 days of not doing their job properly,” she said. “If they’d found them that night they would have been able to arrest them. That person would have had the envelope in their possession that night.”
Further covering her own tracks, Medina said that she had no reason to take the money, as her husband brings home over $200k a year.
“Why would I take a thousand dollars? I’ve got $50,000 worth of cookies sitting in my house right now. I’ve got thousands of dollars of cookie deposits that come in every Thursday,” she said.
Medina noted that the troop in question never received a dime from the donations, and accused the chapter of wanting to take the money.
Retired sanitation worker Paul Bluemke, who offered to pay the full amount that had been “stolen,” has since retracted his offer.
“No way. There are so many better things in the world to donate to. I’ll donate to St. Jude’s,” he said. “This is why people don’t trust anybody anymore. It’s a shame.”
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