Police have arrested a man who they say conspired with his wife to steal more than $250,000 from a local Ace Hardware store in Greeley.

According to the Greeley Tribune, the owners of Offen Ace Hardware at 722 9th st. went to police about an employee named Kristi Chairez, wife of the man charged. The owners called Kristi a "trusted employee" who they "groomed" to take over the business when they retired. They even helped pay for her degree in accounting from Aims Community College. However, once day to day operations were turned over to Kristi, things changed.

In April of 2018, the owners received a bank alert that their hardware store accounts were significantly overdrawn. When they confronted Chairez she told them she had proper documentation for everything, but it would take her a little time to get it all together. Later that night, the owners returned to the store and found store records removed, including four years of account payable files, employee files, bank statements and more.

According to the Greeley Tribune, on April 4, Kristi Chairez didn't want to provide the owners with passwords for the computers and accounting software. Later that day, surveillance video shows Kristi's husband Adam Chairez pull up to the rear of the business with a trailer and load several items into the trailer.

The next day, the owners fired Kristi Chairez and began investigating, eventually involving the police.

Adam Chairez, 47, is being charged with a class 3 felony for theft of $100,000 to $1,000,000. If he's found guilty that carries a sentence of up to 12 years in prison and $750,000 in fines.

Source: Greeley Tribune