Kenosha bartender accused of stealing nearly $2,000 from patron

Jennifer Smith

RACINE — A Kenosha woman is facing charges for allegedly stealing nearly $2,000 from a hotel bar patron. Jennifer Smith, 31, is being charged with one count misdemeanor theft. The criminal complaint indicates she was caught on camera stealing a wad of cash, a credit card and driver’s license from a guest at the Delta Hotel on Friday, Jan. 18.

According to a criminal complaint, officers were called to the hotel regarding an alleged theft. Upon arrival, the victim said that he was in the bathroom when he noticed that a wad of cash was missing from his pocket. The man checked the entire bathroom and was unable to locate his money. He told officers that he was missing approximately $2,500 in cash, one credit card and his driver’s license.

The victim believed that one of the bar patrons was responsible for stealing his items. Officers searched bar patrons and were unable to find anything. After searching the bar’s bathroom, officers asked to speak to the hotel manager, who gave the officers access to the hotel’s camera room. The complaint indicates hotel surveillance footage showed the bartender, Jennifer Smith, cleaning near the back corner of the bar. While Smith was cleaning, the victim stood up to leave the bar and his belongs fell from his pocket, making their way towards the ground. The video then showed Smith shoving the wad of cash, credit card and license into her breast area.

While reviewing the video, the complaint says it was clear that Smith made it look like she was trying to help the victim find his missing items. Later, surveillance video showed Smith walk into an office next to the bar, take the money out of her shirt and place it inside a pink and gray backpack. Shortly after that, Smith and her boyfriend were seen taking the backpack out of frame. Officers found the backpack in Smith’s car and discovered the money inside the backpack along with the the victim’s credit card and driver’s license.

When speaking with officers, the complaint indicates Smith said that she felt embarrassed if she pulled the money in front of other guests. When asked if she was aware that she was taking that much money, Smith said she thought she was just grabbing a couple of dollars off the ground. She told officers that she shoved the money into her shirt, and then put it into the backpack. Officers then asked Smith if her boyfriend was involved in the situation, and she said he wasn’t. Smith said he simply grabbed the backpack and then brought it to the car.

The total amount of money Smith stole was approximately $1,961.

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