Woman sentenced to year in jail over health club thefts

Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) A 29-year-old woman accused of stealing money, credit cards and jewelry, mostly from Anchorage health club patrons, has received a one-year sentence.

As part of a plea bargain, Tamika S. Knox pleaded no contest to a single count of second-degree theft. The remaining 30 counts, including felony scheme to defraud, were dismissed.

Knox, who was sentenced Friday, was arrested in May following a two-year string of thefts from offices, locker rooms and cars. Credit cards were taken and used almost immediately to rack up hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars in purchases, often before the victims knew the cards were missing.

Knox has criminal convictions in Alaska and Florida, including for credit card fraud and child abuse.

She was silent as Superior Court Judge Dan Hensley accepted her deal with the state. In addition to the year in jail, Hensley gave Knox an additional year of suspended time and three years probation and ordered her to pay restitution totaling $17,493.87, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

In the original charges, police identified $12,412.73 in stolen credit card purchases spread among seven victims from March 2001 to April 2003.

Knox's practice was to steal purses or car keys from lockers, snipping locks with bolt cutters where necessary, according to the complaint filed by Anchorage police. In cases where victims left purses in their cars, bringing only their keys inside, Knox allegedly stole the keys, broke into the car in the parking lot, stole the purse or wallet and relocked the car.

Victims would know their keys were missing but would not know their purse and credit cards were also gone until they managed to get the car open.

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