Assistant Principal Has Court Date Set for Next Month

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A Springdale school official arrested last week on suspicion of theft by deception has a court date set for next month, officials said.

Angela Kay Coats, 44, of Springdale, is set to appear Aug. 13 for an arraignment in Rogers District Court on a misdemeanor charge of theft by deception, said Chris Griffin, Rogers deputy city attorney. At arraignments, suspects are are required to enter a plea on the charges against them.

Coats was arrested July 9 after authorities say she bought "fraudulently" underpriced items and then returned the items for full refunds at Gordman's, a department store in Rogers.

Coats, the assistant principal at George Junior High School in Springdale, was released July 10 from the Benton County Jail on a $5,000 bond, officials said.

An arrest affidavit states Coats received $181.98 in cash or credit for the fraudulent transactions.

The arrest affidavit does not specify how the prices of the items were fraudulently altered, although an affidavit of complaint by Jill Marie Timbes, the store's asset protection agent, states that the items the suspect returned to the store had a sticky residue on the price tags.

"We have noticed several missing price tags on merchandise in the area Mrs. Coats gets her items from in the home department," according to a hand-written statement from Timbes.

The affidavit states Coats purchased and then returned a heart plaque, a floral arrangement, a wall-decor piece, a clock and a coat hook during multiple visits to the store between May 28 and June 20.

For instance, the suspect paid $5 plus taxes on May 28 for a "fraudulently undervalued" heart plaque that had an actual retail value of $17.99, then paid $8.99 plus taxes on June 6 for a "fraudulently underpriced" floral arrangement that had an actual retail value of $32.99, and then returned the plaque and floral arrangement on June 8, receiving a refund of $47.23, the affidavit states.

The school district told 5NEWS Monday (July 15) she is still the assistant principal at the school. She is not listed in the staff directory on the school website.