Pizzeria Manager Accused Of Ordering Extra Pies

LAKEWOOD, Ohio (AP) - A pizzeria manager has been accused of trying to increase her store's sales by ordering 400 large pizzas and then leaving them to rot in her garage.

Kimberly Hericks, 36, of Rocky River, wanted to increase sales at a Donato's Pizza store so that she could get her name in a company newsletter, said Kim Kowalski, a spokeswoman for the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office.

The store's owner discovered the pizzas when he went to Hericks' house to help her move, police said.

Hericks is accused of stealing $38,326 from Donato's Pizza, forging documents and damaging the company's computer system and fax machine to cover her activities, according to police reports. Police also allege that she wrote $3,000 in checks on a closed account in an attempt to make restitution to the shop's owner.

Hericks confirmed that she kept the pizzas in her garage, but declined to comment further.

She was indicted Monday on charges of theft, forgery, vandalism and passing bad checks. She faces a maximum prison sentence of 5½ years if convicted on all counts. She was scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. 17.

Hericks is accused of establishing fake store accounts for two hospitals and a school district. She told fellow employees that she would deliver the pizzas to the hospitals and the schools herself because she wanted to maintain a rapport with those customers, Kowalski said.

Tom Santor, Donato's marketing director, said that the company was cooperating with authorities, but would not comment further.

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