PRESCOTT, Arizona - A woman who admitted to stealing gold coins from an 84-year-old man was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison Monday.
Cheryl Clement, 59, secretly obtained the combination to a safe belonging to her one-time boyfriend, an 84-year-old Dewey resident, and used it to take 88 gold coins, each weighing one ounce, YCSO spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said.
The estimated loss was more than $100,000, D'Evelyn said, adding that the thefts happened between October 2013 and January 2014.
Clement had been living with the victim, and by the time she moved out, D'Evelyn said, she knew his routine and when he would be out of town. The victim was contacted by Clement's daughter, who suspected her mother had the coins, D'Evelyn said.
YCSO investigators found that Clement had bought several vehicles from a local car salesman she had been dating, and paid in gold coins for some of them.
Clement faced 18 counts of trafficking in stolen property and one count of third-degree burglary in that case. She was already in custody on unrelated charges.
Monday's sentencing covered three cases against her.
Clement's attorney, Matt Cochran, said, "Twelve to 15 years (in prison) is more than enough," and, noting her history of mental illness, added that eight to nine years was appropriate.
Deputy County Attorney Daniel Woolston disagreed, saying that the longer sentence was merited because of Clement's "carefully planned, methodical theft of the victim's property."
Clement told Superior Court Judge Jennifer B. Campbell that she was remorseful.
"If I had been taking my medication for my bipolar (disorder), I never would have done that," she said. "I was truly out of control."
In addition to the prison sentence, Campbell ordered that Clement sign over to the victim title of the vehicles she bought and kept, and Cochran said he had been told that the people to whom she had given vehicles would be willing to do the same.