Bank teller allegedly caught with hands in another teller’s drawer
A Basalt woman who works as a teller at Alpine Bank in Aspen is accused of stealing $4,000 from another teller’s cash drawer.
Susana R. Braunthal, 49, made her first appearance in 9th Judicial District Court Monday, and will be back in court for the formal filing of charges on Jan. 3.
According to documents on file at the courthouse, Braunthal walked over to the teller’s station staffed by Janice Rust on Nov. 24, which bank officials say is strictly against bank policy and is grounds for automatic dismissal from the job.
Aspen Police Officer Jim Crowley, who investigated the theft, wrote in an arrest warrant affidavit that he saw Braunthal’s image on a surveillance tape. Crowley reported that he saw her “go to Rust’s teller station, open the cash drawer, and stick her hand in the drawer.”
Because the videotape switched to another camera at that instant, according to Crowley’s report, he did not see what happened next.
But Rust’s cash drawer came up short by $4,000 on the night of Nov. 24, according to bank officials. And Rust allegedly told Crowley she had forgotten to lock her cash drawer when she left her station for a 10- to 15-minute period.
Braunthal, according to Crowley, denied taking the money and said she “had never stolen anything” and “had never been arrested for anything” in her life.
Crowley reported that a check of her criminal records showed she had been arrested four times in California for theft, between 1977 and 1985.
Braunthal was arrested Dec. 10, and is free on a $5,000 surety bond issued by bail bondsman Doug Britten.
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