Natasha R. Hill, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff
As Corrected February 24, 2015.
Appeal from the Marion Superior Court. The Honorable Annie Christ-Garcia, Judge and Honorable Deborah Shook, Commissioner. Cause No. 49F24-1204-FD-27888.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: Michael G. Moore, Indianapolis, Indiana.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana; Brian Reitz, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Robb, Judge. Bailey, J., and Brown, J., concur.
Case Summary and Issues
[¶ 1] Following a bench trial, Natasha Hill was convicted of two counts of theft and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2526.83. Hill appeals, raising two issues for our review: (1) whether her dual theft convictions, which were based upon acts committed minutes apart and in the same department store, are contrary to law; and (2) whether the trial court abused its discretion in ordering Hill to pay restitution. Concluding Hill's dual convictions violate Indiana's single larceny rule and that the trial court's restitution order was an abuse of discretion, we reverse and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
Facts and Procedural History
[¶ 2] On April 26, 2012, Macy's loss prevention officer Jeremiah Kiel received an anonymous phone call informing him that Natasha Hill, a Macy's employee, would be involved in a theft at the store. Consequently, Kiel began surveilling Hill using real-time video monitors. Late that morning, a customer, Robin Shannon, approached Hill's cash register and provided Hill with receipts from previous purchases. Hill entered a number of items as returns, but Shannon did not actually return any items. Hill then placed the value of the " returned" items on a gift card and gave it to Shannon.
[¶ 3] While Hill was processing Shannon's phony returns, Shannon left the register and returned with several items, including pillows, a comforter, a cookware set, and a set of kitchen containers. Hill scanned the kitchen container set twice and charged it to the gift card, but she did not scan any of Shannon's other items. Hill took the kitchen set and cookware set to a customer pick-up location while Shannon walked away carrying the pillows and comforter.
[¶ 4] Macy's loss prevention officers confronted both Shannon and Hill about the transactions. Hill signed a statement admitting that she aided Shannon by fraudulently returning items and that she did not charge Shannon for the cookware, comforter, or pillows. Hill also signed a promissory note agreeing to pay Macy's in the amount of $2607.32, which included values attributable to the incident on April 26 in addition ...