Frazee woman accused of felony theft due to self-checkout at Frazee Family Foods

A Frazee woman was charged with felony theft for an incident in Wolf Lake in Becker County District Court.

According to county court records, a Becker County Deputy went to the Wolf Lake Liquor Store after receiving a theft complaint on Friday, July 14, 2023. 

Judith Lynn Lancaster, 52, a Wolf Lake Liquor Store employee, was accused of stealing gambling funds totaling approximately $3,400.

The Wolf Lake Liquor Store staff had noticed two months when deposit numbers were incorrect in June and July. 

Lancaster was captured twice on two different occasions committing theft on surveillance video. She was seen opening money bags and hiding cash in her hands before transferring it to the pocket of her pants.

Lancaster admitted to the theft and claimed she took approximately $2,000 to a sheriff’s investigator after learning she was seen on camera a week after the report.

Becker County District Judge Gretchen Thilmony sentenced Lancaster to 30 days in jail, with credit for one day served. She was ordered to serve 15 days in jail and 15 days on electronic home monitoring.

Thilmony stayed the imposition of sentence. A successful completion of probation will result in a misdemeanor conviction. She was placed on supervised probation for five years.

Lancaster was ordered to pay $3,540 in restitution, as well as a $500 fine and $150 in court fees. 

Frazee woman accused of felony theft due to self-checkout abuse

A 30-year-old Frazee woman has been charged with felony theft in Becker County District Court.

According to County court records, a Frazee police officer went to Frazee Family Foods after a report of a customer leaving the store with unpaid items. The officer spoke with two employees on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, who suspected Jennifer Diane Lee Belland, of rural Frazee, of using the self-checkout machines by scanning items without paying for them.

Earlier that day, Belland filled a shopping cart with items, used the self-checkout, and left the store with the items.

An  employee looked up the last purchase on the self-checkout and it indicated that Belland only paid for a $3.75 can of Pringles potato chips and left with the rest of the cart unpaid.

Frazee Family Foods employees had been trying to figure out how Belland was cheating the system, and discovered that items could be scanned with the machine making a beeping noise and without being added to the transaction.

Belland’s actions caused the self-checkout machine to be shut down and has not been in use since.

Frazee Family Foods store owner and the police officer were able to use the store’s video system to identify Belland’s transactions and a list of items that were scanned but not paid for.

In total, the duo discovered Belland had conducted 17 separate transactions in October for a total amount of $1,310.75 in unpaid items.

The officer contacted Belland in December. She admitted to the transactions and said she accidentally found out how to do it. Belland did not dispute the amount of stolen items and claimed she was going to pay the money back with an expected tax refund check.

Belland will appear in court next in a Tuesday, May 28, omnibus hearing before Becker County District Court Judge Gretchen Thilmony.