By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Stillwater woman and a homeless ex-convict have been charged together with embezzling $1,400 from a Stillwater convenience store, which they both claimed was robbed while she was employed there.
Billee Jean Talley, 33, and Floyd Wesley Lavender, 50, could be given as much as a five-year prison term plus a $5,000 fine if convicted of embezzlement from the Git N Gallup at 1204 S. Main in Stillwater, court records show.
Talley, who had worked for the convenience store for about a year, was arrested on Feb. 18 and jailed until Feb. 28 when she posted $10,000 bond, court records show. Lavender was originally charged with robbery, but that was dropped when the pair were accused of embezzlement; Lavender has not been jailed.
On the night of the reported robbery at 12:08 a.m. on Jan. 17, “Talley complied with the demands giving the suspect an undetermined amount of money from the register and the safe,” Stillwater Police Officer Adam Elliott alleged in an affidavit.
“Talley described the suspect as a black male to responding officers,” but security cameras showed that at one point, the suspect’s face cover fell to his neck showing that the suspect was Lavender, a white customer, the affidavit alleged.
“On Jan. 22 during a follow-up interview with Talley, she stated she had known Lavender personally for several months, and positively identified him as the person who robbed her.
“During the interview, Talley stated Lavender contacted her via cell phone shortly after the robbery implicating her as a co-conspirator in the crime. However, Talley never contacted police to provide us with the suspect’s identity,” the Stillwater officer alleged in his affidavit.
Talley had called Lavender at 4:33 p.m. and 4:47 p.m. and asked him to come to the store, the affidavit alleged. Lavender arrived there at 10:59 p.m. on Jan. 16 and spoke to Talley briefly inside the store and then at length outside the store, video footage showed, the affidavit alleged.
On Jan. 23 when Lavender was located and arrested for the apparent robbery on Jan. 17, “he readily admitted his involvement in the crime,” the affidavit alleged.
“He stated that when he met with Talley at the business, she told him that the morning shift manager had left the safe open.
“He said that he and Talley were both having financial problems, and it was an opportunity for easy money. Talley told him that she had worked a double shift on that date (noon to midnight), so there would be an above average amount of money available,” the affidavit alleged.
The business estimated it lost about $1,400 from the reported robbery, the affidavit said.
“Lavender claimed he received $777 from the robbery, and Talley took the remaining money,” the affidavit alleged.
“Based on my investigation, it appears this robbery was planned by Talley and Lavender in order to embezzle money from the business,” the officer wrote in his affidavit.