A Dayton woman who pleaded guilty to stealing items from nursing homes was given 65 years in prison Monday afternoon in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.
Susan Gwynne, 55, appeared in court Monday to be sentenced on 46 criminal offenses including: 17 counts of burglary, second-degree felonies; four counts of theft, third-degree felonies; 10 counts of theft, fourth-degree felonies and 15 counts of receiving stolen property, first-degree misdemeanors.
Gwynne originally faced 101 charged, but pleaded down to the 46 charges at a hearing in September.
The plea was part of an agreement with prosecutors and in exchange the remaining 14 counts of burglary, 29 counts of theft and 12 counts of possessing criminal tools were dismissed.
At the sentencing hearing, Assistant Delaware County Prosecutor Amelia Bean-DeFlumer said that Gwynne went to more than a dozen assisted living facilities dressed as a worker and stole items, mostly jewelry, from residents at the facilities. Bean-DeFlumer said investigators started an investigation in January after some items were reported at The Inn at Olentangy Trail.
During a search of Gwynne’s home, more than 3000 items were recovered. Bean-DeFlumer said they still had not been able to determine where all the items came from but said they were able to identify 46 victims.
Bean-DeFlumer asked for a lengthy prison sentence for Gwynne and said she preyed upon the elderly and had caused them emotional pain.
“These were people who couldn’t protect themselves…” Bean-DeFlumer said. “She chose victims who would trust her.”
At the change of plea hearing, Gwynne said that she was stealing to support a cocaine habit but at the sentencing hearing Bean-DeFlumer said there was no evidence that she had a drug problem. Bean-DeFlumer also said that Gwynne had written a letter to her son stating that she made up the drug addiction story to get a shorter sentence.
Gwynne tearfully addressed the families of the victims who were in attendance and said she was “deeply sorry for the pain and loss.”
“I pray everyone can forgive me,” said Gwynne, who was visibly shaking during the hearing.
After hearing from Gwynne, prosecutors, and Gwynne’s attorney David Birch, Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley sentenced Gwynne to 3 years for the 17 burglary charges, one year for the 14 theft charges and 180 days in jail for the 15 counts of receiving stolen property. Gormley ordered the burglary and theft sentences will be served consecutive to each other and the receiving stolen property charges will be served concurrent to the other charges.
Gwynne was also credited the 145 days she has spent in the Delaware County Jail.
Prosecutors asked that Gwynne pay restitution in the amount of $25,774, but Birch objected and a hearing on the matter was scheduled for Nov. 23 at 9:30 a.m.
Gwynne will remain in the Delaware County Jail until the Nov. 23 hearing is concluded.
Bean-DeFlumer said that the owners of a majority of the stolen items have not yet been identified. Officials from the sheriff’s office said after the hearing that they would continue to investigate to try and return the property to their rightful owners. Bean-DeFlumer said Gwynne also pawned a number of items she stolen and those would likely never be found.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.