The director of the Florida Keys Wildlife Rescue on Big Pine Key is accused of shoplifting about $130 in clothes from the Navy store on Friday, according to a Key West police incident report.
Maja Totman, 54, of Big Pine Key, was charged with one count of misdemeanor petty theft.
Key West police were called to the Navy Exchange (NEX) store on Sigsbee Park at 11:35 a.m., where a security guard told them he detained Totman after watching her leave the store without paying for seven hats and three T-shirts worth a total $128, the report says.
Totman allegedly put the shirts from the military department and then hats from the souvenir department in a green grocery bag, and then put that bag in the cart she was pushing, the report states. She then reportedly put her purse on the grocery bag before leaving the store.
The guard showed the officer surveillance footage of the incident, which he burned to a CD and the officer put into evidence. All of the items were recovered and returned to the store.
Totman has never been charged with theft before in Monroe County, according to court and jail records.
"It was a misunderstanding," Totman said Tuesday. She declined to comment further.
Totman is married to a retired service member, which gives her access to the tax-free store that sells military uniforms to bicycles to household items to service members, families and retirees, said Naval Air Station Key West spokeswoman Trice Denny, who added that she knows Totman by virtue of Totman's longtime presence on Navy property. Totman is often on Navy property to work with birds that nest there.
Denny declined to comment on the NEX incident as it is being handled by Key West police.
A trial date had not yet been set as of Tuesday.
Totman was released from jail on Friday under no bond with the stipulation that she appear in court.
Totman grew up on a farm in Croatia, working with animals. She studied nursing in London before moving to the Keys in 1996, she told The Citizen in an unrelated story last year.