It came as quite a shock for the woman who had gone to the store to buy a birthday present.
Debbie Nennstiel is a working mother of two. When she went to buy groceries in December, the clerk told her there wasn't enough money in her account. That's when she realized something was terribly wrong.
Debbie says, "Your checking account is your cash fund, and when it's depleted it's pretty scary."
It turns out someone had been using Debbie's debit card number to pay bills; utilities, phone, and even college tuition, $2,000 worth, and according to police records, the charges began one day after Debbie made a series of purchases at JC Penney. One of them rung up by clerk Jovan Sills.
SGT Bill Bierbaum with the TPD Financial Crimes Unit says, "He used this person's credit card, expiration date that the person provided in accordance with the sale, and used them himself."
Police say Sills made 19 illegal purchases, all by phone. He now stands accused of credit card fraud, grand theft and identity theft.
Debbie's biggest beef, she says, is the store allowed Sills to continue as a cashier even after police began to investigate.
Debbie says, "I think it was pretty irresponsible to leave him behind the counter. At least change his job duties."
We sought comment from the manager of the Tallahassee JC Penney store and from a spokeswoman at Penney's corporate offices in Texas. Neither has returned our calls.