With clerk distracted, woman allegedly stole up to $1,000 from Pittsfield variety store

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PITTSFIELD — A city woman is facing a larceny charge for allegedly swiping up to $1,000 from a convenience store register while the clerk was distracted.

Kelly McLennan, 50, was identified by witnesses via surveillance video as the woman who walked behind the counter of Zenner's Variety on Tyler Street after purchasing a scratch ticket and leaving with a large amount of $20 bills.

McLennan told police she became desperate for cash and had fallen behind on her rent and owed a drug dealer money after relapsing into cocaine use after a decade of sobriety.

Staff from the store told police a woman entered the store about 8:45 p.m. Friday and purchased a lottery ticket before walking to the end of the counter, where she lingered for a short period of time.

While the clerk was helping other customers, the woman walked behind the counter, opened the register drawer, grabbed a stack of $20 bills and put them in her pocket before being confronted by the clerk and leaving, police said. The incident was in clear view of the surveillance video camera.

The woman told the clerk she had walked behind the counter because she was looking for a trash bag.

The clerk estimated about $1,000 was stolen; McLennan told police she thought the amount was closer to $600.

After posting images from the video on its Facebook page, Pittsfield Police received several tips that the woman may be McLennan. She was later identified by a witness from a police photo array.

McLennan was arrested Tuesday evening in the area of Orchard Street.

She pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Wednesday to larceny from a building.

Judge William Rota released her on personal recognizance and ordered her to return to court June 2 for a pretrial hearing.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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