Village of Hemingway woman to answer in court after alleged underwear theft

A Village of Hemingway woman will have to answer in court after the alleged theft of underwear at Belk.

Paula Jean Van Dusen, 54, was a sales associate at Belk at La Plaza Grande in The Villages on March 10 when she was spotted on surveillance selecting a pack of underwear and then putting it in a bag at her station in the jewelry department, according to an arrest report from the Lady Lake Police Department. As she was attempting to leave for the day, a manager stopped her and asked to see a receipt for the underwear, which was in a Belk bag.

“Van Dusen produced a receipt that did not apply to the underwear in the bag,” the officer wrote in the arrest report.

The Iowa native became “irate” and began “cursing and yelling at the manager,” the report said. She said the receipt was at home and she would bring it back in with her when she returned to work on March 13. When she returned to work on March 13, she provided a receipt that was not valid. She admitted to the store’s loss prevention officer that she had taken the underwear, valued at $22.50, without paying for it.

She was issued a notice to appear March 27 in Lake County Court.