Cedars burglar sentenced for stealing from residents

Published 4:50 pm Saturday, March 3, 2012

An Austin woman accused of stealing jewelry from The Cedars and allowing her husband to pawn it for more than $3,000 was sentenced Mower County District Court Thursday.

Marissa Marie Tuttle, 23, was convicted of two counts of second-degree burglary and one count of theft, all felonies. Tuttle was sentenced to 23 months in prison, stayed for 10 years’ probation. She was also sentenced to serve 30 days in Mower County Jail with conditions for work release and must pay $4,058 in restitution. Her husband, Dustin Leidall, was sentenced to 10 years’ probation in December for being an accessory to second-degree burglary.

According to a court complaint, an Austin police detective was investigating a string of jewelry thefts at The Cedars in Austin when he discovered Tuttle, a CNA who worked at The Cedars, was working the shifts during the hours of the thefts.

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When officers entered Tuttle’s name into the Automated Pawn System, they found she sold two rings at Pawn America in Rochester in June, and Leidall sold 42 pieces of jewelry, totaling more than $3,600, between June and July.

Police spoke with a Pawn America employee who remembered Leidall saying he had “gotten lucky” when he purchased an abandoned storage unit.

Leidall told police he and Tuttle had been pawning jewelry Tuttle had gotten from a “free table” at work.

More than 100 pieces of jewelry were seized from Tuttle’s vehicle, according to a court complaint. Tuttle admitted to telling Leidall she found the jewelry on a free table. He said he was suspicious but didn’t question her because of money troubles, according to a court complaint.

The jewelry was taken from at least five victims, according to a court complaint.

 — Amanda Lillie contributed to this report.