CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Franklin County Judge Douglas W. Herman on Wednesday sentenced a Mercersburg, Pa., woman to five years on probation for stealing thousands of dollars worth of lawn ornaments and furniture.
"There's a substantial amount of property taken," Herman said looking over the restitution list for Melissa Ann Helm, 29, of 14566 Buchanan Trail West, Apt. 1.
Lawn ornaments, outdoor furniture, planters, flower pots, wreaths, statues and other items on the list had a combined value of more than $3,000, Herman said.
"There were some mental health issues ongoing at the time," Assistant Public Defender Scott Thomas said of his client.
Helm pleaded guilty in February to two counts of theft, according to court records.
The affidavits of probable cause filed by Pennsylvania State Police stated that the thefts took place between May and September in 2007. During that time, yard ornaments and furniture were stolen from more than a dozen businesses and residences in Peters, Montgomery, St. Thomas and Antrim townships. The businesses included Country Shadows Crafts near Greencastle, Pa., and the Gold Fish Barn near Mercersburg, police said.