JC Penney employee 'discount' leads to arrest

JC Penney employee 'discount' leads to arrest

POSTED: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 5:15pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 5:19pm

An employee at a Las Cruces department store has been arrested for giving two friends substantially large and unauthorized discounts on merchandise.

Andrew M. Astorga, 26, is charged with one count of embezzlement over $500. The charge is a fourth-degree felony.

Shortly before 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17, Las Cruces Police officers stopped a pickup that was speeding northbound on Walnut Street and noticed several large bags of merchandise from the JC Penney store at the Mesilla Valley Mall.

Detectives learned that two women, ages 19 and 21, went shopping at JC Penney earlier that day and paid only $16.10 for nearly $2,100 worth of merchandise. Detectives learned that the two women went shopping with very little money but with the knowledge that Astorga, their friend and an employee of JC Penney, would give them a discount.

Charges against the two women are pending at this time.

Police contacted JC Penney store personnel who determined that Astorga discounted the merchandise from $2,098.13 to a final price of only $16.10 which was paid by the women.

Astorga was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center with bond set at $5,000.

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