SKOWHEGAN — A Skowhegan woman has pleaded guilty to felony theft for prying open a safe belonging to a family member in November and stealing about $22,000 in cash.

Jaclyn Suezanne Rutherford, 28, was sentenced to serve six months in jail to be followed by three years of probation and is ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,200, according to court documents. The full sentence handed down in court last week was for three years in prison with all but the six months suspended.

Rutherford was arrested Nov. 23 and charged with being in possession of the stolen cash and a one-way train ticket to Chicago.

Rutherford used a flat-edge crowbar to pry open a safe at a family member’s home on Waterville Road and steal the cash, according to court documents. The money was kept in packets of $1,000 and $2,000 in Bangor Savings Bank envelopes. Police found the damaged safe in a closet and found the crowbar in a bedroom where Rutherford slept in the family home.

Rutherford also pleaded guilty to criminal mischief for damaging the safe.

She was arrested Nov. 23 by the Oakland Police Department on a temporary warrant issued by Skowhegan police in connection with the theft. Rutherford, who had been convicted and fined for theft in Augusta in 2013 and for use of drug paraphernalia in Farmington the same year, already was out on bail when she was arrested Nov. 23.

She was charged Oct. 7 in Skowhegan with assault, violating conditions of release and with obstructing the report of a crime for attacking another member of her family, though not the victims of the theft.

Rutherford used physical force to prevent the victim of the assault from calling police. As she was taken away in handcuffs by police, she allegedly screamed obscenities at the female family member, according to court documents.

“I’m going to kill her,” she allegedly yelled at police. “You can’t keep me forever, and when I get out I’m going for her. You can’t stop me.”

She was released on unsecured bond Oct. 11 on the condition that she commit no new criminal activity. The theft charge — new criminal activity — led to a revocation of bail and an indictment by a Somerset County grand jury in December.

Rutherford also pleaded guilty to charges related to that incident — assault, violating the conditions of release and obstructing the report of a crime. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail for those crimes to be served at the same time as the sentence for theft.

Of the $22,000 allegedly stolen, Rutherford was found in possession of $16,800, which was returned to the victims. She allegedly told police she had given $5,200 to a friend for picking her up the night of the theft and to help the friend pay rent, according to court documents. She has been ordered to reimburse that money within 35 months of her release from jail.

Court documents show Rutherford had no cash on hand and no income when she was arrested. Documents say she can not work because of injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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