Beer Money = Theft Charge

A volunteer selling beer tickets at Des Moines, Iowa’s 80/35 music festival was arrested after being found with thousands of dollars in her bag, although the individual claims there are legitimate reasons she was carrying that much cash.

80/35 – 80/35

Jessica Chi Rieper was booked July 8 when a police officer monitoring festival operations claimed to see someone concealing a wad of cash and enter a port-a-potty, according to the Des Moines Register. Upon exiting the loo, she had her bag searched and $3,136 was discovered, a police report cited by the paper read. 

For her part, Rieper says she was being wrongly accused of theft when she simply received tips and had cash from her parents for the festival.

“This is my third year volunteering and we have always received a tip out after each shift, so this was not abnormal for me to take a tip out,” she told the Register.

The festival has approximately 500 volunteers and they are not background checked, a rep told the paper.

Rieper said she was not told how to handle the money and she planned on fighting the charges.

“To be pinned for money missing when there was no money management is disheartening,” she told the paper. “When you try to give your time to an organization and have them come back and do something against you doesn’t make me want to further support local venues.”

Police said Rieper may also have used her cell phone to handle credit card transactions at the event, which would also cause them to suspect credit card theft.

This year’s edition of 80/35 featured MGMT, The Shins, and Action Bronson.