A housekeeper who stole more than $11,000 worth of jewelry was sentenced to prison by President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman Monday at Plea and Sentencing Court.
Jodi S Wingate, 59, of Reynoldsville pleaded guilty to theft by unlawful taking and was sentenced to a minimum of six months and a maximum of one year in the Clearfield County Jail, plus four years concurrent probation.
Wingate was also ordered to pay a total of $8,106 in restitution to the victim.
It was a structured plea agreement where Wingate would serve 90 days in jail if she paid off at least $5,000 in restitution to the victim prior to sentencing. If she didn’t pay at least $5,000, she would serve a minimum sentence of six months in jail, according to Deputy District Attorney Trudy Lumadue.
Thus far, Wingate only paid $2,600, Lumadue said.
Wingate represented herself at the hearing and asked for more time to pay off the remaining $2,400. She said she has been doing everything she can to pay the restitution and said if she goes to jail she wouldn’t be able to pay it off.
Ammerman accepted the plea agreement and told her to report to the CCJ on March 28. He said if she paid the remaining $2,400, he would reconsider sentencing her to 90 days.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Nov. 19, 2020 Sandy Township police contacted the victim about a theft she reported. The victim said Wingate started working for her as a house cleaner in June 2020.
On Nov. 17, 2020 the victim said she was getting ready for work when she noticed two of her necklaces were missing. She said the last time she wore them was on Nov. 7, 2020.
The victim said she texted Wingate and asked her to look for the missing jewelry. Wingate replied by saying she must have sucked them up in the vacuum and threw them away.
The victim said she then began to suspect Wingate stole the jewelry because she did not misplace them.
On Nov. 19, the victim called Cash for Gold to see if anyone turned in any jewelry and described the missing jewelry to them and gave them Wingate’s name.
The victim said she then called Wingate and gave her one last chance to return the jewelry and offered to pay her $800 if she returned them. But she said Wingate denied stealing anything from her.
Cash for Gold called back and confirmed Wingate had come in on Nov. 3 and Nov. 10 and they had all of the documentation for the police.
Cash for Gold also said they had just gotten off the phone with Wingate who asked if she could get the jewelry back. They told her they still had one of the necklaces, an 18 carat Tiffany necklace and chain, but the others had already been sent to their dealer.
The victim then called Wingate and told her what she learned from Cash for Gold. Wingate then confessed to taking the jewelry.
Later that day, Wingate came to the Sandy Township Police Station and gave a written statement, admitting she stole the jewelry.
On Nov. 20, police went to Cash for Gold and retrieved the paperwork detailing the transactions with Wingate.
On Dec. 10, police interviewed Wingate by phone. She said she only took four or five necklaces and a tennis bracelet and brought them straight to Cash for Gold. She said she was so scared when she stole the jewelry she wasn’t sure what she took.
The victim provided police with a list of the missing jewelry with a total value of $11,312.
An 18 carat yellow gold and platinum custom made diamond pendant and Tiffany 18 carat gold 18-inch chain were later returned to the victim.