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Lt. Gov.'s alleged wallet thief jailed

An employee of a grocery store in Hazard has been arrested in the theft of Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo's wallet, state police said.

Mongiardo accidentally left his wallet at the Food City Market while shopping there late Monday night, said Detective John Griffith of the state police. When Mongiardo went back to the store to look for it Tuesday, the store manager called state police, and an investigation ensued just after 3:30 p.m.

Erika M. Moran, 37, of Hazard, a cashier at the grocery, initially denied finding the wallet, but she later acknowledged that she had found and taken it soon after Mongiardo left the store, Griffith said.

Moran, who was arrested just before 6 p.m., has been charged with theft by unlawful taking over $300. She was in the Kentucky River Regional Jail on Tuesday night.

She initially didn't realize just whose wallet she had filched, Griffith said.

"Whenever he showed up, she realized it really quick," he said.

Griffith said the wallet and its contents have been returned to the lieutenant governor, but he's not sure exactly how much money was taken.

"I'm still working on that," he said.

"A large portion of the currency" has already been recovered, according to a press release from the state police.