Police say they arrested a 23-year-old Butte woman Monday morning after she allegedly embezzled $14,500 from her employer.

Tristina Lancaster is accused of stealing money from her place of work, a refrigeration business on the 3700 block of Oregon Avenue, by depositing money from the business into an account attached to her name on eight different occasions, police said.

According to police, the total amount Lancaster allegedly transferred is $14,500.

Police said the owner of the business reported the theft March 28 and a warrant was issued for Lancaster’s arrest earlier this month.

Police apprehended the 23-year-old Monday around 10:30 a.m. and took her to the Butte detention center, where she was cited with felony theft. Lancaster was released hours later at 12:30 p.m., having paid a $5,000 bond.


Officers responded to Emma Park on the 300 block of S. Dakota Street around 8 a.m. Monday, after someone phoned police to report that a woman was lying in the park.

By the time officers arrived, police said, the woman had entered a residence on nearby Porphyry Street with a man. When officers knocked on the door of the residence, they spoke with the woman, who told officers that the man, her partner, had assaulted her and left the residence. According to police, the woman’s face appeared to be red, but she was not injured and did not request medical attention.

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Police were later able to catch up with the woman’s partner, Joshua Smith, 32, of Butte, whom they found walking in the area. Officers arrested him and took him to the Butte detention center, where he has been cited with misdemeanor assault on a partner of family member.

Smith was also cited with a unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon, a misdemeanor, for a BB gun and two knives that were allegedly found in his possession at the time of his arrest.

Allegedly driving under the influence of drugs

Officers responded to McGruff Park near the corner of Garden and Second streets in response to a report of a man asleep inside his vehicle.

Upon their arrival, officers located the vehicle and the man, Joshua Whaley, 39, of Butte, who police say they were unable to rouse by knocking on the window.

Police were able to wake Whaley after opening the car door, whereupon they allegedly observed that the 39-year-old was disoriented and possibly intoxicated.

Whaley was transferred to the Butte detention center, where he allegedly failed a field sobriety test. A drug recognition expert assessed the 39-year-old, police said, determining that he was possibly under the influence of meth and heroin.

Whaley was then taken to St. James Healthcare for a blood test, the results of which are still pending.

The 39-year-old has been cited with a misdemeanor DUI, along with several other driving-related misdemeanors.

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