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Crime

Former Girl Scout Troop Leader Accused of Stealing $26,000 Worth of Cookies

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A Kentucky woman is accused of stealing $26,000 worth of Girl Scout cookies while she was a troop leader, PEOPLE confirms.

Leah Ann Vick, 26, of Floyd County, Kentucky, was indicted by a grand jury this week on charges of felony theft by unlawful taking, according to Pike County Detention Center records..

Vick, who was a troop leader for the Wilderness Road Chapter of the Girl Scouts, allegedly stole thousands of cookies in early February. For months, authorities could not locate Vick or the cookies, but she was arrested on Tuesday, jail records state.

In late February, Kentucky State Police were alerted of the alleged theft by a member of Vick’s Girl Scout chapter.

The member alleged that over the course of three days Vick picked up more than $26,000 worth of cookies — or 6,250 boxes — from three designated “cookie cupboards” in three different counties, Haleigh McGraw of the Wilderness Road Chapter tells PEOPLE. The cookies were being stored in the cupboards to be sold, McGraw says.

John Moore/Getty

The large number of missing cookies weren’t seen as a red flag in itself, McGraw says. She adds that troops sell thousands of boxes, with one girl scout selling 4,500 last year.

But when the time came for Vick to pass on her troop’s earnings to the chapter, she was allegedly nowhere to be found. McGraw says the chapter billed Vick for the $26,000 but the requests to withdraw the money from Vick’s bank account allegedly failed. (Vicks’ bank information was provided per an agreement with troop leaders, McGraw says.) After several attempts to withdraw the money, the chapter contacted authorities.

McGraw says the chapter was completely “blindsided” and is focusing on helping Vick’s troop, which is left with the bill for the cookies. A new troop leader has been assigned, but without funds from the cookie sale, the troop is unable to take educational trips or attend events, says McGraw.

Courtesy Pike County Detention Center

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Our biggest and foremost concern is our girls. The cookie sale is more than selling cookies for our troops,” McGraw says.

She adds, “Selling cookies is the top girl-led business in the country. So our main purpose of the cookie sale is financial literacy for the girls. Number one on our skills [from the sale] is money management and business ethics.” 

It is unclear where the cookies are; investigators have not yet located them. A fundraising website has been set up by the Girl Scouts chapter for Vick’s troop.

Vick’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 26, a Pike County Detention Center official tells PEOPLE. She has not yet entered a plea and it was not immediately clear if she retained an attorney.