ROCKLAND, Maine — A woman who worked as a bookkeeper for two well-known local restaurants is behind bars after being charged with embezzling at least $18,000.

Melanie Allen, 39, of Union was arrested Wednesday and charged with Class B theft and Class B forgery, said Rockland police Detective Russell Thompson.

Allen worked as the bookkeeper for the Brass Compass Cafe on Main Street and Archer’s on the Pier. Thompson said police were asked to investigate and determined that since June, Allen has stolen at least $18,000 from the restaurants, both owned by Lynn Archer. The amount is expected to be more when the investigation is completed, according to the detective.

Allen was taken to the Knox County Jail where she is being held in lieu of $40,000 surety bail or $2,000 cash. She is scheduled to make her first appearance Friday afternoon in Rockland District Court.