A former real estate firm employee accused of stealing nearly $7,000 from her employer more than three years ago was arrested on suspicion of theft after she stopped paying the money back.

Dawn Armenta, 30, who worked for Sundial Real Estate in Mesa, was arrested about 9:40 a.m. on Wednesday

Armenta, who admitted to stealing the money and canceling the payroll deduction from her check to pay the money back in an effort to keep her job, had only paid back $550 of the funds and subsequently submitted fake repayment statements, according to a police report.

Beginning in March 2007, police say Armenta took money from rent payments taken in from customers and continued the crime for about a year. It later was discovered that Armenta used her company credit card with Staples and spent $4,122 on unauthorized purchases for personal use, police said.

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