Ex-clerk arraigned in Sun Mart theft

Aaron R. Weissenberger faces trial in November on a charge he helped with a fake robbery.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man authorities say stole money from the Burbank Sun Mart in April by helping stage a robbery pleaded innocent Monday in Walla Walla County Superior Court to a felony charge.

Aaron R. Weissenberger, 36, who now lives in Kennewick, is scheduled for trial Nov. 2 and 3 on the charge of second-degree theft.

Weissenberger is accused of helping steal $1,071 in the purported heist that allegedly occurred early on the morning of April 27. He was working as a clerk in the store at the time.

Officials said he and Joseph D. Shackett, 22, of 18 Piper Road, Burbank, agreed to steal the money from the store's safe and cash register by making it look like a robbery.

Authorities said Shackett entered the store at 35 Apple Lane about 2:35 a.m. wearing a hooded sweatshirt, dark pants and a makeshift mask, then placed a note on the counter purportedly demanding money from the safe and cash register.

A recording by the store's surveillance camera reportedly shows Weissenberger giving the supposed robber a money bag from the safe and currency from the cash register.

Shackett allegedly left with the money and Weissenberger called 911 to report a robbery.

Shackett was arrested July 7 after the Sheriff's Office received information from the state crime lab identifying fingerprints on the note as being his.

He then told officials Weissenberger helped stage the incident and the pair allegedly split the money.

Weissenberger was arrested Aug. 8, but released on conditions Wednesday.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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