Petaluma mom arrested in thefts from preschool teachers

A Petaluma mom suspected of stealing wallets, money and checks from her child's preschool teachers was in custody Monday, a Sonoma County sheriff's sergeant reported.

Deputies arrested Starrlynn Martin, 32, Monday morning at her Petaluma apartment, Sgt. Mike Raasch said.

The Stars Preschool teachers first found things missing Oct. 1, from their purses, which are typically kept in the classroom.

One was missing a wallet and the other was missing $60 in cash.

The teacher with the missing wallet initially thought she'd misplaced it but then discovered someone used two of her checks at Petaluma grocery stores, Raasch said.

The teachers didn't immediately report the theft.

They did call deputies on Oct. 22, when others found their wallets gone from their purses.

One debit card was used to buy gas. Attempts to buy food, cigarettes and beer from two Petaluma businesses were denied as the cards had been reported stolen, Raasch said.

The wallets were found discarded in front of nearby Cinnabar Elementary School, said Raasch.

Surveillance video from the businesses showed Martin attempting to use the card to make purchases. She was with her preschool child.

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