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First Stop theft case continued

Posted: Thursday, Nov 29th, 2012

Loren Gutierrez

Courier Staff Writer

ALAMOSA — A convenience store manager arrested in October for allegedly stealing money from her employer will be back in county court early next year, after her disposition hearing was continued to Jan. 10.

Alamosa County Court Judge Daniel Walzl granted the continuance for Loren Gutierrez after defense attorney Merida Zerbi informed him that she and the prosecution’s team need more time to sit down together for a lengthy interview.

Authorities arrested Gutierrez on Oct. 3 for theft, conspiracy to commit theft and false reporting.

They allege that the 26-year-old First Stop manager falsely claimed that an unknown person broke into her car and stole a large amount of cash that she planned to deposit at a local bank.

Upon further investigation, the Alamosa Police Department reportedly discovered inconsistencies with Gutierrez’s version of events. The discovery ultimately led authorities to a second woman, who was allegedly in the process of using the money to bail her son out of jail.

That woman -- 42-year-old Ernestina Bernadette Gallegos -- was then taken into custody for conspiracy, theft between $500 and $15,000 and tampering with evidence.

Both women posted $10,000 bonds shortly after their arrests.

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