No modern Robin Hood with a twist! A teenage girl faces the possibility of felony charges after gifting some of her grandmother’s life savings to her classmates and others.
At this time, the girl’s identity is not public due to her underage status. But the 14-year-old, who lives about 60 miles northwest of Orlando in Summerfield, is accused of stealing about $13,500 from her grandma’s safe.
Marion County lawmakers responded to a call from Lake Weir Middle School on Oct. 20 about complaints from a student who was giving cash to his classmates. The arrest report said the receiving students pocketed hundreds each, according to NBC News.
Girl claims money initially came from unknown source
School officials searched the teenager’s backpack and found nearly $2,500. At first the girl claimed that an unknown former student gave her the money because they wanted to distribute it.
However, those involved in the case later realized that the money was no accidental act of generosity. Instead, the teenager had committed a crime against her grandmother by delving into her life savings. Investigators revealed the 14-year-old broke into her elder’s home safe and stole more than $13,000. The girl told investigators she broke into the safe with a screwdriver and metal pick.
It is unclear whether the teenager lives with her grandmother or was visiting during the burglary. Although the girl admitted to stealing the thousands, she didn’t provide investigators with any motivation for the burglary. The girl also did not mention why her classmates at school and at a bus stop became the beneficiaries of the stolen coins.
“She advised her to take a stack of $20 bills about 6 inches in size from the safe,” the arrest report said.
Officials recover less than half of the stolen money
Within 24 hours of the teen’s arrest, officers recovered about $700 of the money other students had received. The grandmother received this $700 along with the $2,500 found in the girl’s backpack.
Multiple outlets say the girl is charged with grand larceny. Under Florida law, grand theft means “unlawful taking or using property valued at $750 or more” with intent to block the owner of his or her right to use it.
Given the amount of money stolen, the girl could face a third-degree grand larceny charge, listing theft of property valued at anywhere from $750 to less than $20,000.
A conviction would mean up to five years in prison or five years probation with a $5,000 fine. It’s unclear if the grandmother or the state is the driving force behind the charges, and if the girl has an attorney.