By JOe gorman
Amy Lynn Smith beat heroin cold turkey but not before it led her to steal thousands of dollars of jewelry from a Things Remembered warehouse in North Jackson.
Thursday, she tearfully told Judge Maureen Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court that she was sorry for what she did and is now trying to make up for it.
“I was a good person up to this point, and I want to get my life back,” Smith said.
Smith, 35, of North Jackson, was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay back more than $62,000 to Things Remembered after she entered a guilty plea to a charge of grand theft. James Baumgart of Things Remembered, who is in loss prevention, said Smith was caught on video in March stealing items on her lunch break at the warehouse.
Until then, Smith had worked for Things Remembered for 15 years, Baumgart said.
When an initial report was made in March with police, the value of the stolen property was listed at more than $28,000, but Assistant Prosecutor Rob Andrews asked Judge Sweeney on Thursday to make Smith pay almost $150,000 in restitution.
Baumgart said there had been only an initial investigation at the time of the initial police report, but since then, more thorough investigations revealed what was taken and how much it was worth, both in wholesale and retail value. He said Smith took pendants and other sterling-silver jewelry and pawned a lot of them at local shops. Several of those were recovered, Baumgart said.
He said the thefts were discovered when an Internet order was made. When workers went to fill the order, the merchandise they requested was nowhere to be found.
“There wasn’t any property there,” Baumgart said.
Baumgart said the warehouse averages about $10,000 in loss a year, and the loss that Smith caused was much more than that, which he termed a “hardship.”
Smith’s lawyer, Brian Tareshawty, disputed the larger restitution amount, saying that Things Remembered was trying to pin all of its losses on Smith.
He said she has no prior criminal record and was driven to commit the thefts because of her heroin addiction. Tareshawty said Smith kicked her heroin habit on her own with no rehab and that she does not deserve to go to prison.
“She just toughed it out and she beat the heroin,” Tareshawty said. “Don’t put her in the penitentiary. She lacked free will, which she has now.”
Smith apologized to her parents and Things Remembered. She said she does have a job.
Judge Sweeney told Smith she will be on probation until she pays back what she is ordered and that if she has to get a second job to pay it off, then that is what she should do.