Love Shop worker charged with theft


The former manager of a local lingerie store was arrested Monday, accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the owner and allowing friends to use the business as a late-night hangout.

Cora Norton, 45, of the 4500 block of Zola Drive, turned herself into the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. She is charged with felony theft by taking after investigators said she stole more than $7,000 from Lucy's Love Shop at 3241 Washington Road and used the business as a "late-night hangout" for her friends, according to Sheriff's Investigator Anita Hopson.

"She was having a lot of people in and out of that store at late hours," Investigator Hopson said. " It appeared that product was going out of the store, as well."

Ms. Norton began working at the store in January and was fired in May when the store's owner, Michelle Ballington, said she discovered discrepancies in the finances.

Ms. Norton had been responsible for collecting money and making deposits while the owner was out of town , Investigator Hopson said. When Ms. Ballington became concerned about the finances, she began to do "surveillance" for after-hours activity, Investigator Hopson said.

"After surveying her own business she decided to go in and approach the manager," she said.

The suspect admitted to taking some of the money, Investigator Hopson said . She said that the owner also saw the woman's friends remove bags of items from the store but that investigators were un able to tell if the products were stolen.

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