In a bizarre turn of events, a 26-year-old Girl Scout leader from Kentucky has been accused of lifting $15,000 worth of the beloved Girl Scout cookies and disappearing.
After the event, a grand jury had indicted her on a charge of felony theft by unlawful taking, but she went into hiding after her bizarre alleged crime. She couldn’t stay hidden for too long, however, as she was finally arrested.
Leah Ann Vick is said to have executed the crime using “cookie cupboards,” picking up the cookies in various areas near her and then making off with them without paying a dime. As she worked alone in her district, it was easier for her to conceal her alleged strange crime for several weeks.
The value of the cookies she had reportedly stolen remains in dispute. Some outlets stated Vick made off with $15,000 worth of the merchandise, while others are claiming she ran off with up to $26,000 worth of the delicious snacks.
Haleigh McGraw, the marketing director for Girl Scouts of Kentucky’s Wilderness Road, gave a statement.
“We’re still looking into what she did with them – we have a detective on the case. Did she use these cookies as payment? Has she got some left that we can recover? We’re trying to work all this out.”
McGraw answered a few questions as to why they were able to hire someone who could have done something so outrageous.
“We have extensive background checks on all our scout leaders, and one-on-one interviews, but there were no red flags with her. It’s unfortunate.”
Kentucky State Police Trooper John Gabbard was notified of the theft after Vick picked up a large amount of cookies on February 1, 2017.
“Vick came down (to Pikeville) and picked up somewhere around approximately $15,000 worth of Girl Scout cookies to be taken to be sold. From Gabbard’s investigation, she never paid for those cookies,” Pike Commonwealth’s Attorney Rick Bartley stated.
Bartley continued speaking about the case.
“She has never paid for any of them and, anyone who has tried to contact her about them has not been able to contact her. The case was a little confusing because she may have picked up cookies for other groups. The ones that she did pick up, at least for her own troop, were never sold by the troop. She picked up the cookies and never took them to them, so we don’t know what she did with them.”
As the boxes sell for $3 to $5 per box, she could have taken as many as 5,000 or more boxes.
According to McGraw, this is the first time they have had a Girl Scout leader commit fraud on this level. While she has had leaders previously skim money off the top of their troop’s cookie sales, they haven’t ever had anyone perform a cookie heist on this level.
“It’s quite a lot of money for us. It will definitely have an impact. But we are trying to take measures so that the girls are not affected,” McGraw elaborated.
There has been no word on how the girls in Vick’s troop have been affected by this or how the girls in surrounding troops have been affected by the stolen goods. Girl Scout Cookies are the biggest fundraiser for the Girl Scouts of America and are set up to both help benefit the troops individually and to help the girls learn how to budget and manage money. Girls can win several different types of prizes for participating and selling the most cookies in their area, so it may be possible that children were also credited for the sales that never went through.
[Featured Image by John Moore/Getty Images]