A York City woman who police said stole charity jars from the counters of four York-area convenience stores gave investigators three easy ways to track her down, according to allegations laid out in charging documents.
Amber Lynn Shaffer used her food-stamp debit card to buy shakes and a soda from the Rutter's Farm Store in the 500 block of Greenbriar Road in Manchester Township on July 6 before grabbing the Rutter's charity cannister and leaving the store, according to charging documents filed by Northern York County Regional Police.
She also walked right up to a Rutter's security camera — likely unwittingly — which recorded a nice clear picture of her, according to police, who released that photo to the media.
Kids there: At the time, her two children were with her, police said.
Finally, Shaffer drove her white Buick during all the thefts, and a Rutter's employee was able to take down her license-plate number, documents state.
Shaffer stole a charity jar from the Rutter's in the 2100 block of Susquehanna Trail in Manchester Township a week later, on July 13, Northern Regional Police Lt. David Lash has said.
Police said Shaffer is also a suspect in thefts of donation jars from two other convenience stores — one in York City, the other in Spring Garden Township.
And Lash said Shaffer is now a suspect in a fifth theft of a Rutter's charity jar, which happened at a Strinestown branch on July 17.
"We're still investigating that one," he said.
Shaffer, 29, of 631 Roosevelt Ave., second floor, so far is charged with two counts of theft and receiving stolen property.
'Knee injury': After officers tracked her down, Shaffer told them she took the jars because she was out of work for a knee injury, according to charging documents.
She also said she got about $20 from each jar.
Lash said all the jars had money earmarked for the Arc of York County, which helps people with intellectual disabilities.
Each month, Rutter's Farm Stores choose a charity and put out donation jars to raise money for that organization, according to Lash.
"At the end of the month, they collect all the jars and give the money to charity," he said, then choose another charity for the following month.