A Pine Cove store clerk who stole more than $100,000 from his workplace pleaded guilty Thursday to grand theft and was immediately sentenced to three years probation.

Vincent Daniel Gillman, 51, admitted the felony count under a plea agreement certified by Riverside County Superior Court Judge Kelly Hansen, to whom Gillman had pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Monday at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.

The plea deal was announced Thursday morning ahead of a bail review hearing for the defendant.

In addition to probation, Hansen ordered Gillman to pay $111,000 in victim restitution and spend six months in a sheriff’s work release program in lieu of jail.

The defendant was arrested last Thursday following a weeks-long sheriff’s investigation. He was booked into the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, where he was being held on $85,000 bail.

According to sheriff’s Sgt. Ken Reichle, investigators were alerted earlier this month to suspected thievery at the Pine Cove Market at 23235 Highway 243, just north of Idyllwild, where “an abnormally large of money” had turned up missing, bewildering the proprietors.

Detectives from the sheriff’s Hemet station began examining business records and collecting other evidence that pointed to Gillman as the alleged source of the stolen funds.

Reichle said it was determined the defendant “had been stealing cash from the register and the ATM machine on a routine basis.”

“It is believed Gillman embezzled over $100,000 in an eight-month period,” the sergeant said.

The defendant was arrested without a struggle at his workplace.

He had no documented prior felony or misdemeanor convictions in Riverside County.

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