Local News

Wilson Couple's Fast-Food Stop Becomes Hunt For Lost Cash

Posted October 15, 2004 7:36 a.m. EDT

— A Wilson couple nearly lost several thousand dollars at a fast-food restaurant.

Police say when a customer forgot her purse in her car Wednesday night, some employees decided to help themselves.

Mandell Pone and his fiance, Roshika Hunter, stopped at a Wendy's restaurant for dinner. The couple was on their way to buy a car and Hunter had $4,800 in cash in her purse.

After the couple left the restaurant, 10 minutes passed before Hunter realized she left her purse behind. When she returned, employees told her it was not there.

The couple called police, who searched the outside of the restaurant.

"As I walked around to the back of the store behind the drive-through sign, I saw a wad of $100 bills," said Det. Eric Kearney of the Wilson Police Department.

Investigators found $500 stashed inside a restaurant sign and another $3,000 in a cardboard box nearby. They say it appeared someone hid the money.

Police questioned each worker individually. After several hours, investigators said a female came employee came up with more money.

"The girl said, 'I'm not getting arrested for $1,300. I'm not going down for that.' So they went back in, walked around and she came back with $900," Kearney said.

Kearney said surveillance video suggests three employees were involved and charges are expected. No arrests were made. Police want to check more surveillance tape.

Anyone involved could face felony charges even though most of the money was recovered.

Hunter got everything but $400 and her cell phone back.