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Hopatcong Middle School Teacher Suspended for Alleged Rite Aid Shoplifting

Linda Carrara Harris, 54, of Hackettstown, told police she thought she had paid for the approximately $76 of merchandise.

Hopatcong Rite Aid in file photo
Hopatcong Rite Aid in file photo

A Hopatcong Middle School language arts teacher was suspended after being arrested Wednesday for allegedly shoplifting $76 in items from Rite Aid.

Linda Carrara, 54, who lives in Hackettstown, was arrested under her married name, Linda Harris. She was placed on leave pending a probe that will be led by Hopatcong Superintendent of Schools Cynthia Randina, according to the New Jersey Herald.

At about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Hopatcong Borough Police officers went to the store after receiving a report of the incident. The manager said Harris, who came to the store each day and was known by name to at least one employee, conducted her shopping, filled her cart, then exited the without paying, according to Lt. Thomas Kmetz. 

Kmetz said Harris' cart contained a mini super cycle valued at $19.99, a plastic bowl valued at $5.99 and a comforter valued at $49.99. The woman said she had paid for the items at the pharmacy department and left the premises, but the manager told police the pharmacy staff said she had not paid, Kmetz said.

Officer Gerald Mancuso contacted Harris, who came to headquarters and cooperated with officers, Kmetz said. She told police she thought she had paid for the items and gave the merchandise to Mancuso, who made sure they were returned to Rite Aid. The woman was charged and released, pending a court appearance.

Harris was informed Thursday night by the school district of her suspension, the Herald reported.

Jessica January 10, 2014 at 09:51 AM
This is stupid. Why should she lose her job over an incident that had nothing to do with her job performance?
Jessica January 10, 2014 at 11:01 AM
Well if she is stealing from the school that is a whole new issue.
Emily January 10, 2014 at 11:29 AM
bad roll model maybe.
John Brinkerhoff January 10, 2014 at 12:19 PM
It's called integrity
Emily January 10, 2014 at 12:25 PM
How right you are. We shall see how well our superintendent handles this. We saw how well our mayor and council did with the same situation. I just hope history doesn't repeat itself. The only consolation for this teacher is the teachers union.
Eyeballs January 10, 2014 at 11:33 PM
get rid of the democrat party power brokers in hopatcong... it's the best way to improve the quality of life in town... thank you...
Frank forkman January 11, 2014 at 06:46 AM
How about the other " Teacher " Track coach " from the HS , what ever happened to her ???
Emily January 11, 2014 at 06:54 AM
Hopatcong leaders have a way of shoving things under the rug. It's not so much the people that live here it's the people that are in charge. we as a collective community need to pull together and demand that situations like this are handled with the utmost respect of the law. My opinion, nothing will happen and that is why Hopatcong has the reputation it does.
BeachBum January 11, 2014 at 08:52 AM
Hopatcong is a great role model place to reside - Drugs and Crime daily, its all you read about in the papers - Pathetic town!
Eyeballs January 11, 2014 at 10:19 AM
fire da democrats.... thank you...
Frazure January 11, 2014 at 12:13 PM
The woman may have truly thought she paid for the items upon leaving the store. Everyone has had days when there may be a overwhelming number of things on your mind causing something like this to happen. The lady deserves her day in court at the very least, at which time, there may or may not be a very palatable explanation. If there is a reasonable explanation and a not guilty verdict, then she should be removed from suspension and paid for lost time. If she's found guilty, then she faces the consequences of the court. The burden of proof belongs to the state and she remains innocent until proven guilty.
Emily January 11, 2014 at 04:52 PM
okay, and Elvis is alive and well and living in Flordia!!
Frank forkman January 11, 2014 at 05:20 PM
Emily ?, i heard he was living well in a, but can't tell you or anyone , because if i tell you , or anyone , I'll have to K--l you , but since we live in HOPATCONG , well then all is well . Lives Down the road a bit in S.Carolina .
Tammy January 11, 2014 at 09:40 PM
Frazure--Are you serious? The items would have to be put on the counter to be scanned and most likely get bagged. At the very least the clerk would have to come around with the hand held scanner and scan the items while in the cart. She didn't have a few items that only cost a couple of dollars either. It would be a very obvious price difference between what just the prescription would be and what the prescription with the items would be. I would be more inclined to believe she intended on paying for the items at the front of the store and had an air head moment and just walked out but that wasn't her lame excuse now was it?
Rich Smith January 11, 2014 at 11:46 PM
Looks like a good replacement for Klein on the Council. :-(
Emily January 12, 2014 at 08:18 AM
Thanks Frank for the info. And I agree with Tammy. Maybe I could pull that lame excuse when I go grocery shopping next week.
Clay Thomas January 12, 2014 at 07:32 PM
Considering Hopatcong’s dismal situation, any Council replacement is probably an improvement. Maybe Elvis would be interested, but isn’t he currently “on the lam” with Scott August? Rumor “in da hood” is they will be at the Super Bowl with Gov. Numbnuts so heads-up to LE.
Tammy January 12, 2014 at 08:44 PM
A little off topic but Clay Thomas' post gave me a thought that made me giggle. Wouldn't it be funny if our esteemed Governor missed the Super Bowl because he got stuck in traffic? Of course we all know that would be impossible because I am sure he will be arriving with his guests via our tax dollar paid helicopter!!!!
Emily January 13, 2014 at 08:03 AM
You made me laugh Tammy. Thanks.
karen giordano January 14, 2014 at 10:41 PM
maybe early onset alzheimers
JOSEPH G MATTERA January 21, 2014 at 05:10 AM
SHE IS TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE; SHE IS A CRIMINAL; HAS NO PLACE IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM AROUND IMPRESSIONABLE CHILDREN.......

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