Fired LaFayette Housing Authority Manager's new theft charges - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Fired LaFayette Housing Authority Manager's new theft charges

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"In 2015 especially, that any person would figure out that you can't steal from where you work," sighs LaFayette Police Chief Benji Clift on the case of Lori Michelle Baker.

Baker managed the LaFayette Housing Authority until her arrest last month on five counts of burglary.

Police said then that Baker stole nearly $12,000 worth of jewelry from the residents apartments, much of which later turned up at a local pawn shop.

But earlier this week, one of Baker's alleged previous victims came forward, telling detectives her credit card had nearly $500 of charges from the LaFayette Walmart.

After reviewing the store's surveillance tape, detectives believe Baker stole the credit card, used it, and then returned it to the apartment dweller in the hopes of going undetected.

The scheme unraveled when the credit card bill came in the mail.

"I don't presume to get inside her head but its very peculiar, most of us haven't seen anybody who operated exactly like this before," said Chief Clift Thursday.

"You know one of her alleged victims?" I asked LaFayette's Valerie McKIn. "Yes and its just wrong, it robs us of our safety, of belongings that belongs to us that mean a lot to us for someone to steal it from us," McKin told me, across the street from Baker's apartment at the same complex she once managed.

McKin believes Baker stole from clients during routine apartment inspections.

I spoke to Baker's latest alleged victim, who declined our request for an on camera interview. The same can be said about Ms. Baker herself when we confronted her about her latest criminal charges.

"You don't have anything to say about the people you've allegedly bilked? "No," retorted Baker, who had little else to say to us, other than we can speak to her attorney.

We did confirm Summerville's famed defense attorney Bobby Lee Cook has been retained by Baker to represent her on the now 15 criminal charges Baker faces.

Chief Clift says more charges are possible if more victims are discovered.

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