Scrapbooking saleswoman linked to $170K in thefts
Karen McGates, 47, appears in a Washington County courtroom Tuesday. She is charged with stealing $170,000 worth of scrapbooking supplies.
By Thanh Tan and KATU Web Staff
HILLSBORO, Ore. – A Beaverton woman was arraigned Tuesday on charges she stole $170,000 worth of scrapbooking materials from craft stores and sold them from her home business.
Karen Sue McGates, 47, pleaded not guilty in Washington County court to charges of racketeering, first-degree theft and tampering with evidence.
She was licensed to run All About Scrapbooking & More from her home on Southwest Lisa Lane.
Beaverton police allege she and another woman accumulated a house full of illegal supplies during the course of about a year, between February 2007 and this month.
Police allege that both women made numerous visits to craft stores, where they would pay for a few dollars-worth of merchandise but leave with their purses stuffed full of stolen items, such as paper, scissors and stamps.
They mainly targeted Craft Warehouse stores in the Portland metro area but also hit Jo-Ann Fabrics and Michaels stores, police said.
The alleged accomplice is cooperating with police in the investigation and has not yet been named or charged.
McGates was arrested on Feb. 1 following an investigation into the thefts.