Dollar General employee charged with theft after robbery hoax

    A Jefferson County woman claiming to be a victim ends up being the suspect. (Jefferson County Sheriff's Office)

    A Jefferson County woman claiming to be a victim ended up being the suspect. She said she was robbed while making a company deposit, but that wasn't the truth. And detectives say the lie she told could have hurt you.

    ABC 33/40's Amber Grigley spoke with people who are familiar with the 19-year-old Dollar General clerk in Pinson now facing charges, but they say they never saw this coming. They say it's sad that she decided to do such a silly act that could have jeopardized lives.

    It all happened Sunday evening at a Dollar General off Highway 75 in Pinson.

    Megan Michael , 19, told officers she volunteered to drop off a bank deposit for the store. While she was walking to her car she says she was approached by a man with a knife. He demanded the money. She says she put up a fight, but he got the money and got away. Michael says a second man was waiting in a nearby car and he had a gun.

    As convincing the story may sound, investigators say it isn't the truth.

    "It's childish. For a little girl to do this, it's childish," said Pinson resident Christopher Harten.

    Monday, store managers reported Michael admitted she lied and pocketed the money.

    "The cops wasted their time and efforts when they could've been doing something else," said Harten.

    A local barbershop owner who was robbed at gunpoint five times says being robbed is scary, serious, and is nothing to play with. He says Michael's false story could have ruined an innocent person's life.

    "People lives are involved in all of this stuff. We want to try to do everything we can not to put any false stories out like that. We want you to speak the truth. If you call the police, call them because something really happened," said Theodore Etheridge, Owner of Etheridge Barber & Style Shop.

    Michael returned the money, but she still faces theft and false reporting charges. Grigley reached out to Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, who say there is zero tolerance for false reports. Answering this call took deputies off important duties, so they could search for a suspect that did not exist.

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