Traverse City Record-Eagle

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July 17, 2013

Authorities say gas station robbery was bogus

BENZONIA — Authorities said a Benzonia gas station attendant falsely reported that an unknown assailant robbed him of the station’s money in order to cover up his own theft.

Darek Eberhard, 39, of Benzonia, was arrested and charged with embezzlement and false report of a felony.

Benzie County Prosecutor Sara Mason said Eberhard was the Benzonia Timberline Shell Station clerk who reported on July 5 that he was struck twice from behind and was robbed as he walked to his vehicle. Sheriff’s deputies initially asked the public to help locate the assailant based on Eberhard’s description, but soon zeroed in on the clerk as the suspect who stole the undisclosed amount of money.

The embezzlement charge is for an amount between $1,000 and $20,000. Mason said there is no indication Eberhard stole from the gas station before the alleged incident and false report.

“This wasn’t an ongoing embezzlement,” she said.

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