A former Ashland Food Co-op checker pleaded guilty today in Jackson County Circuit Court to embezzling $12,595 from the grocery store.

A former Ashland Food Co-op checker pleaded guilty today in Jackson County Circuit Court to embezzling $12,595 from the grocery store.

Corina Silva, 31, was sentenced to two years of probation by Judge Tim Barnack on four counts of first-degree theft and ordered to repay the money. In exchange for her guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a single theft charge.

Ashland police arrested Silva in May after an investigation concluded she was systematically stealing $20 to $600 each week from January until her arrest.

Silva took the cash from store registers while scanning coupons worth money. Co-op records show that Silva was stealing money every few days, said Ashland Police Chief Terry Holderness.

She was originally arrested for first-degree aggravated theft, which is a Class B felony and carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, police said.

The charges were reduced after the district attorney reviewed the case. Silva has no prior criminal history.

Silva worked at the co-op for more than two years, and was well-liked by employees and customers at the store, said Richard Katz, general manager, at the time of Silva's arrest.

— Sanne Specht