Hermantown, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A former Hermantown school board member has been charged with one count of felony theft.
Following an investigation by Hermantown Police, 42–year–old Stephanie Hamell was arrested for allegedly stealing over $20,000 in jewelry and cash from a friend.
The victim alleges that she asked Hamell to hold onto $5,000 in cash and $16,500 worth of jewelry for her by storing them in a safe.
According to Hermantown Deputy Chief Shawn Padden, when the victim tried to reclaim her belongings, Hamell told her that the safe was locked and she was unable to open it and that the safe needed to be sent to the manufacturer.
After getting her rings back, the victim reported several of the diamonds fell out.
Following an appraisal by a jeweler, it was discovered the diamonds were replaced with crystal.
Hamell has confessed to the thefts to police.
Hamell has been charged with one count of felony theft which carries a maximum penalty of $20,000 and/or ten years in prison.
Her next court appearance is set for March 11th, 2014.
Written for the web by Jeremy Brickley