CORVALLIS, Ore. — A former Girl Scout troop leader is facing first-degree theft charges for stealing more than $8,000 from her troop’s bank account. Investigators say she stole money from cookie sales. Benton County sheriff’s deputies arrested Sheila Cowart on Saturday.
“I’m sorry and give me a chance to make it right and I will,” Cowart said tearfully.
She said she used the money to pay off credit card debt.
“I was planning on just borrowing the money as kind of a loan and paying it right back and it ended up not happening,” she said.
The regional council found out about the theft when they noticed money unaccounted for.
“”We received a report from the Girl Scouts of America that they were missing money out of a Philomath office, and we did an initial investigation and found that a little over $8,000 was missing,” said Benton County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Greg Ridler.
Cowart says she’s never received anything more than a traffic ticket in her life. She fears what will happen next.
“Nothing like this has ever happened before, so I’m really really upset and concerned right now and afraid. Just afraid of losing everything, afraid of what’s going to happen,” said Cowart.
She hopes the theft won’t change the troop’s mind about her.
“I just hope that people will not see me as a bad person and be able to understand where I’m coming from and know that I want to make it right and this kind of thing is never going to happen,” she said.