Woman embezzled $1.2M from Visalia Cemetery District

Former bookkeeper is arrested more than a year after she quit her job as the longtime bookkeeper for cemetery


VISALIA – Police arrested a former Visalia Public Cemetery District employee for embezzlement more than a year after she quit.

On Dec. 22, Visalia Police Department officers arrested Dona J. Shores, 63, at her home in Visalia. Shores had left her job as a longtime bookkeeper for the cemetery district in the fall of 2016. In October 2016, district officials contacted the Visalia Police Department after discovering financial irregularities in the bookkeeping records. The Visalia Police Department began an investigation and the Visalia Public Cemetery District conducted a forensic audit, which determined that nearly $1.2 million had been embezzled from fiscal year 2012 through 2016.

If any member of the public has any information they are asked to contact Detective Blake McEwen of the Visalia Police Department Property Crimes Unit at 713-4101.


Visalia Police Log

Tuesday, Dec. 12
Between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., officers conducted an operation targeting the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public near off-sales site locations and city parks. During the six-hour detail, seven city parks and 32 off-sales sites were checked. Two citations were issued for possessing open alcoholic beverage containers in public and one subject was arrested for outstanding warrants. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) through the department’s Grant Assistance Program. ABC is a Department of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.

Wednesday, Dec. 13
At 9:51 p.m. in the area of Tulare Avenue and Bridge Street, an officer heard shots being fired near his location. A white Pontiac was seen fleeing the scene at a high rate of speed and a short pursuit ensued. The occupants of the car were detained on Encina Street south of Noble Avenue. No victims of a shooting came forward and no firearms were located. Volivar Cardenas Torres, 20, of Visalia was subsequently arrested for felony evading and booked at the Adult Pre-Trial Facility. Anyone with information on this case can call the Visala Police Department at 734-8116, or 498-STOP and remain anonymous.

At 12:29 a.m. at Brewbakers bar, 219 E. Main St., officers responded to a report of a fight with someone brandishing a firearm. Officers detained 23-year-old Nicolas Arreola shortly after he fled the scene and found he was in possession of a loaded firearm and stolen property. It was determined that Arreola got into an altercation with an adult male in front of Brewbakers. Arreola then pulled out a gun and took a necklace and watch, worth about $600, from the victim before fleeing in a vehicle. The victim was able to identify Arreola as the suspect and his stolen property. Arreola was subsequently booked at the Adult Pre-Trial facility for robbery, brandishing a firearm and possession of a loaded firearm in public.

Friday, Dec. 15
At 12:08 a.m. at The 5th Quarter, 3360 S. Fairway, officers requested a bar check due to possible gang activity. Officers contacted 24-year-old Ramon Aguilar and learned he had discarded a loaded handgun in the kitchen area when officers entered the establishment. Aguilar was found to be an active gang member and was arrested for possessing a loaded handgun in public and a gang enhancement. He was booked at the Adult Pre-Trial Facility.

Sunday, Dec. 17
At 2:18 p.m. at Rotary Park, at the corner of Paradise and Divisadero, officers responded to a report of a male subject possibly selling narcotics. Officers contacted Abraham Cantu and a male juvenile in the park. Cantu was found to have a loaded, concealed firearm on him and the juvenile had marijuana. The weapon had been stolen out of Oxnard, Calif. Cantu was booked for numerous charges. The juvenile was cited out to a guardian.

Tuesday, Dec. 19
At 1:25 a.m. in the 400 block of W. Grove, officers located a suspicious vehicle. Officers conducted surveillance on the vehicle and noticed that it appeared to be casing the area. When officers approached the vehicle, the driver failed to yield and attempted to flee from the area. After a short pursuit the driver, 42-year-old Randy Ferreira, voluntarily stopped the vehicle and was taken into custody without further incident. Inside the vehicle officers located numerous shaved keys, various burglary tools, and narcotics. Ferreira was found to be on active AB109 Probation out of Tulare County. The suspect was later booked into the Tulare County Pre Trial facility for charges of evading a police officer, possession of burglary tools, and possession of methamphetamine.

Wednesday, Dec. 22
At 11:15 a.m., in the 1400 block of N. Conyer St., officers located a stolen vehicle, which was covered with a tarp in a driveway at a residence. The vehicle had been reported stolen out of Visalia the day before. Officers in the Special Enforcement Unit, Narcotics Unit, and Property Crimes Unit served a search warrant at the residence and arrested two subjects, 32-year-old Clint Miller and 26-year-old Jacob Balderas. Officers located property from the stolen vehicle inside the residence. Miller was charged with possession of stolen property and possession of a stolen vehicle. Balderas was charged with possession of stolen property. Both were booked at the Tulare County Jail. The stolen vehicle and property were returned to the owner.

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