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Police: Bookkeeper stole more than $10K from Garden City Elementary

Tramaine Jones, 36, avoided detectives for weeks before her arrest, police say

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A bookkeeper at a Northside elementary school was arrested last week after she was accused of stealing more than $10,000 from the school earlier this year.

Tramaine Jones, 36, was arrested on Oct. 9 and charged with grand theft and organized fraud for allegedly taking money from Garden City Elementary School. 

According to an arrest report from Duval County School Police, officers met with the school's executive director and another employee in the auditing department after recovering two boxes of documents from the school with several uncashed checks and $400 in cash inside.

The auditor told police they "did not realize just how bad the situation with Mrs. Jones had gotten over the past year."

After reviewing months of financial documents, it was discovered that more than $17,000 was missing from the school, the report states.

Investigators spoke to Jones a few days later, read her Miranda rights, and she agreed to speak with a detective about the case. But after several attempts to locate and speak with Jones about her arrest, she avoided the detective for weeks, according to the report.

A detective finally located Jones at her apartment last week and placed her under arrest.

News4Jax visited Jones' listed address on Monday evening. She did not wish to comment on the charges she's facing.

A spokeswoman with DCPS said Monday that Jones resigned in July. 

The school principal issued a statement to parents last week. 

Hello Garden City Elementary School Families, 
 
You are all members of our school community, and we want to make sure that I  always communicate with you openly and honestly. That is especially true when it is regarding disappointing news such as what I am sharing with you now. 
 
Yesterday, a former staff member, Ms. Tramaine Jones, was arrested by Duval County School Police on charges related to financial misconduct at the school. 
 
According to police, specific charges include grand theft and organized fraud. It's important to know that this individual resigned in July. At the time of their resignation, they were also under investigation by the district's professional standard's office. 
 
Again, I am very disappointed to share this news with you, but I just wanted you to be aware. Please know that we have the highest expectations and professional standards for our staff and educators.