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FARMINGTON — A warrant was issued Monday for a 42-year-old Farmington woman accused of embezzling more than $20,000 from Broadway Pawn here.

Ernestine Vicenti was charged Monday in Farmington Magistrate Court with embezzlement exceeding $20,000, a second-degree felony punishable by up to nine years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

The owner of Broadway Pawn, Jack Cook, reported the alleged theft from his business to Farmington police officers on Monday, according to an arrest warrant.

He told police that he had purchased the business, located at 615 W. Broadway, in January, and Vicenti was retained as an employee.

He said each employee at the pawn shop is assigned a register to conduct cash transactions, and in May, he began to notice money missing from Vicenti's drawer, according to the warrant.

On June 2, Cook said his son and a store manager audited Vicenti's drawer and noted there was $27,499 missing, the warrant states. Cook called Vicenti the next morning and asked her to come in to the office, according to the warrant. Cook told police she made excuses for why she could not come in June 3 and then failed to appear for work on June 6. He said he also believed Vicenti had stolen money from her register on four other occasions since May 8, according to the warrant.

Cook did not respond to a Daily Times request for comment.

Police spoke with one of Vicenti's coworkers, who said she had complained of money trouble on several occasions. The coworker told police that Vicenti was usually dropped off at work by her boyfriend and had spoken of family she had in Gallup.

Police made contact with Vicenti's daughter-in-law at the woman's residence, the warrant states. The daughter-in-law told police that Vicenti left Monday morning, and she was unsure when her mother-in-law would return.

Vicenti has not been assigned a court-appointed attorney or retained private legal representation, according to court records.

Vicenti's bond has been set at $20,000. Anyone with information regarding her whereabouts can contact the Farmington detectives division at 505-599-1005.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and stgarrison@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.

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