Edmond Human Resources Director on leave after claims of purse theft

Anita Breen, picture courtesy Edmond Sun

A city administrator in the City of Edmond is on paid administrative leave as police investigate accusations that she stole a woman's purse.

Edmond City Manager Larry Stevens confirms with FOX 25 that Human Resource Director Anita Breen was put on paid administrative leave July 17 for an unspecified reason.

According to the Edmond Police Department, Breen is under investigation and is accused of stealing a purse at the Target on E. 2nd Street on June 4. The purse is valued at $10 and contained $30 in cash, credit and debit cards, and the owner's driver's license.

Breen's annual salary is $105,466.59, according to Stevens.

She's been with the city since 2006 and maintains personnel records and coordinates personnel actions.

In charges filed Thursday by District Attorney David Prater, the victim paid for items at Target and left her wallet on the counter. She realized she forgot them when she got to her car. She went back inside but no employees had spotted it.

The victim then talked to the store manager who checked video surveillance and saw a woman, later identified as Breen, take Karen's wallet off the counter. When police reviewed the footage, they reported seeing Breen in line directly behind the victim. While the woman was paying for her items, police say Breen moved her cart closer to her, which police believe was an attempt to conceal the victim's wallet from herself. Police say once the victim checked out, Breen stepped up and paid for her items and set her wallet on top of the victim's. Once the transaction was complete, she picked up both wallets and put hers in her purse and the victim's under her purse.

Police were able to track down the woman, identified as Breen through bank records with a subpoena.

On July 16, police interviewed Breen who said she tried finding the woman in the parking lot. When police asked her where the wallet was, she said she had thrown it away, saying "there was really nothing in it...there may have ben ten dollars and that was all".

Police then asked if it was right to throw away the identification, credit cards, and ten dollars to which Breen replied "No, it was's stupid...I just didn't wanna be bothered."

She later told police she shredded the contents and "probably spent" the ten dollars. Police also quote her as saying "Yes, I did take it...yes, it was stupid...yes, I got embarrassed and ashamed of myself and in the moment of being ashamed of myself I did destroy everything."