HUNTSVILLE - A Huntsville woman was sentenced to 30 days in jail in criminal court last Wednesday for her part in a fraud case involving a local retail store.
Lamyeah Zimmerman, a former Hamilton resident now living in the area, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud, attempted fraud and breach of probation during her Oct. 17 court appearance. The 33-year-old had been in custody six days prior to her appearance in court.
According to Crown attorney Ted Carlton, Zimmerman had been placed on 12 months’ probation in a Hamilton court on Sept. 13 for convictions of theft under $5,000 and probation breach.
Thirteen days later, Zimmerman and a male were seen entering a retail store in Huntsville. Store security cameras showed the male take two computer hard drives and some printer ink from the electronics section of the store. The two then entered the meat aisle and exited that area with a store shopping bag.
Carlton said the pair then went to the courtesy desk to exchange the items and received a gift card valued at $500. The couple used the card to purchase groceries and a laptop, total value estimated at around $434.
The prosecutor said that the pair returned three days later and the male again picked up two computer hard drives and some printer ink.
This time, Zimmerman was spotted on the store security camera taking an empty shopping bag from a cash register in the electronics section of the store. They went to the courtesy area again seeking a return on the items.
Store staff, suspicious after the two had been to the desk just days prior with the same items, asked the pair to wait, but did not process the request. The couple eventually left the store and police were called in to investigate.
Carlton said that Zimmerman had turned herself in on Oct. 19 to police. He said the fact the events occurred so close to her court date in Hamilton was “aggravating,” noting that 13 days after her conviction in the southern Ontario court, she was committing a crime in this jurisdiction and then tried another fraud three days after that.
The Crown was seeking 30 days in custody and an order of restitution to the store. Carlton did acknowledge that Zimmerman turned herself in and pleaded guilty at her first opportunity.
Duty counsel Bruce Thomson told the court that Zimmerman suffers from medical ailments, including lupus and hypothyroidism, and is currently living in Huntsville at a cottage belonging to her fiancé.
Zimmerman, when it was her chance to address the court, expressed remorse for what she had done.
“I’m very sorry for what I have done,” she said while crying softy.
Judge JD Evans said the court was concerned about Zimmerman’s behaviour, especially committing offences so soon after she had been placed on probation. He sentenced her to six days time served, plus 24 days concurrent on each of the three charges.