Women get probation in stolen property case

Two women accused of receiving stolen property in a series of vehicle burglaries in the Gardnerville Ranchos were sentenced Monday to probation.

Michelle Howard, 21, and Lea Jaramillo, 20, pleaded guilty to attempted possession of stolen property.

Although both received probation, Howard received an underlying sentence for gross misdemeanor and Jaramillo was sentenced for a felony.

Howard and Jaramillo were charged with felony possession of stolen property after they were arrested in a car at Howard's home loaded with the property reported missing following a series of vehicle burglaries in the Gardnerville Ranchos the weekend of May 8-9.

Recovered items included hundreds of compact disks, backpacks, and a camera.

Officers also found a stolen wallet that included Nevada and California identification cards, Social Security cards and credit cards.

One of the victims - who lost $5,100 in cash that was not recovered - testified in court Tuesday she had three children who were afraid to play in the yard since the vehicle burglary.

The woman asked District Judge Michael Gibbons to order the defendants to stay away from her property which is between their families' houses.

"We had to change locks, they had copies of our keys," she said.

The women had been associated with two men suspected of committing the robberies, but never charged.

Prosecutor Tom Gregory said the incident was still under investigation.

"We will continue to look at the other two," Gregory said. "Right now they're (the women) are caught holding the bag."

The woman agreed to pay restitution.

"She (Jaramillo) understands people were hurt and her conduct was wrong," said lawyer Derrick Lopez. "She knows she is responsible and has a willingness to pay."

Jaramillo is pregnant and Lopez said her baby was due Monday, the day of her sentencing.

Lawyer Tod Young, representing Howard, said his client "got involved in something she shouldn't have got involved in."

Young said the women never saw the cash.

"I'm sorry for your loss, your struggle," Howard told the victim. "I will stay away from your house."

Howard asked Gibbons to "find it in your heart" to sentence her on a gross misdemeanor rather than a felony. He sentenced her to a year in Douglas County Jail, suspended, and placed her on probation.

Jaramillo, who has prior convictions and outstanding warrants in California, was sentenced to 30 months in Nevada State Prison, suspended, and ordered to satisfy the outstanding warrants within 90 days.

Both women were ordered to pay restitution at $100 a month.

They must abstain from drugs and alcohol and are subject to random search and seizure for controlled substances and stolen property.

They may not have contact with each other, the other two men named in the case or the victims.

Gibbons told Jaramillo she may contact the baby's father - one of the men - through the court.

Their lawyers said the women had no interest in renewing relationships with the men and may have acted out of fear in aiding with the crime.


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