ETNA GREEN — A local couple is facing charges for allegedly stealing money and tools from the Etna Green Café.
Lisa Del Rey Hatton, 39, 2348 N. 800W, Kewanna, is charged with theft and sentence enhancement theft with a prior conviction, both level 6 felonies; and theft, a class A misdemeanor.
Scott Eugene Hatton, 44, 51614 Carpenters Drive, Elkhart, is charged with theft, a class A misdemeanor; and theft with a prior conviction, a level 6 felony.
On May 17, a Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office deputy was contacted by the owner of the Etna Green Café regarding a theft report. The owner said he hired the Hattons in September 2022, with Lisa working as a waitress/morning manager and Scott working as a cook.
The owner said he returned from vacation on May 4 and logged into the surveillance system for the restaurant. According to court documents, there were customers in the restaurant, but there was not any transaction data on his cash register app.
While viewing the footage, the owner noticed there were three orders to go, but only two showed up as paid. He also noticed a regular customer paid cash for food and the transaction showed a discount was given to the customer. The customer told the owner he did not receive a discount. Footage showed Lisa taking the extra money and placing it in her tip bucket.
Between March and May, Lisa deleted orders if payments were made in cash, and would close tickets. She allegedly pocketed cash received as payment for goods sold.
During the investigation, the owner noticed Lisa was also giving unauthorized discounts, taking cash from the cash drawer, and putting it straight into her tip bucket.
As a result of Lisa’s actions, there was an estimated $1,000 loss in sales. The owner also told the deputy Scott borrowed an electric power washer and various tools from him which were never returned. These items are valued at $500.
The owner said the Hattons quit their jobs when he began questioning them about the money and tools.
Lisa was previously convicted of conversion, as a lesser included offense of theft, in Marshall County in 2013.
Lisa was booked in the Kosciusko County Jail on Nov. 21, with a $6,000 surety and cash bond. A warrant was issued for Scott’s arrest on Nov. 9.