Police issue warrant for woman suspected of stealing from PAWS Atlanta

- Investigators have issued warrants for a woman who allegedly fraudulently withdrew thousands of dollars from the bank account of a local non-profit. 

Amy Ervin, 38, who was booked into the Gwinnett County Adult Detention Center on unrelated charges, was also accused this week of first-degree forgery.

"Stealing from anyone is wrong, of course, but it just seems to me like stealing from a small non-profit, I mean, that's just totally heartless.  I just don't get it," said Nancy Longacre, executive director of PAWS Atlanta, a no-kill shelter and rescue.

PAWS officials contacted the Sandy Springs Police Department after their bookkeeper discovered a large sum of money missing from their account.

"She was reconciling our account and she noticed that there was a withdrawal of $4,800 from our account.  So, she brought it to me and said, 'Did you withdraw this money?'  No, of course not," Longacre explained.

According to investigators, a woman filled out a withdrawal slip at the SunTrust Bank on Northside Drive March 24, presented a driver's license, and walked out with cash.

"Depending on what the detective finds out in the case, it cold be felony charges," said Sandy Springs Police Sgt. Sam Worsham. 

Longacre did not recognize the woman captured on bank surveillance, but police believe it is likely she has a connection to PAWS. 

"It may be a person that they know--another worker there--that would understand the ins and outs of the business, they would know how to withdraw the money, the account numbers," Sgt. Worsham said. 

The bank credited the money back into the PAWS Atlanta account, but Longacre said $4,800 is a significant amount.

"It's just heartbreaking," said Longacre.  "At any given moment here at PAWS, we're a no-kill animal shelter, and we have anywhere from 175 to 185 animals on our property.  $4800--we can feed all of those animals for two months.  That's a lot.  That's a lot of money.  So, just to walk in and just feel as though you can take it from us?  We work very hard for that." 

Police ask anyone who recognizes the woman in the surveillance video to call them at 770-730-5600. 

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