Corrections Officer Pleads Not Guilty to Theft from Target Store

A state corrections officer pleaded not guilty Thursday to grand theft charges, which stem from allegations that she took property from a Target store in December and didn’t pay for it.Tonya Denice Henderson entered the plea during a scheduled appearance in Victorville Superior Court, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office. She returns to court March 30.

Authorities allege Henderson, who was wearing her state uniform and had her 6-year-old son with her, walked out of a Target store on Palmdale Road in Victorville with about $2,800 worth of merchandise.

The criminal complaint, filed by prosecutors, lists a television set, a carpet cleaner and Xbox 360 video-game system among the items taken.

Deputy District Attorney Colleen M. Goggin, who reviewed the case and filed charges, could not be reached for comment.

A loss-prevention officer at the Target noticed Henderson loading the items into her vehicle and informed the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies tracked Henderson’s license-plate number to her home.

Henderson was hired July 1, 2002, by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. She was employed at California Institution for Men in Chino, where she was a relief corrections officer.

The Department of Corrections placed Henderson on paid leave.

A felony conviction would disqualify someone from being a peace officer, said Terry Thornton, a Department of Corrections spokeswoman.

mike.cruz@inlandnewspapers.com

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