A Petaluma woman charged with stealing wallets from two teachers at her child’s preschool last month pleaded no contest in Sonoma County Superior Court Thursday to one count each of burglary and grand theft charges. Starrlynn Martin, 32, was immediately sentenced to 120 days in the Sonoma County jail and three years’ probation. She will be allowed to apply for electronic home confinement. The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office dismissed seven other counts against Martin, including forgery, burglary and petty theft. Martin was arrested Monday at her apartment for burglary, forgery, passing stolen checks, identity theft, attempted burglary and attempted theft by use of a debit card, Sonoma County sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Raasch said.
One of the Stars Preschool teachers discovered her wallet was missing from her purse in the classroom on Oct. 1. The teacher soon learned two of her checks were used at the Whole Foods and Lucky supermarket in Petaluma, Raasch said. Another teacher discovered $60 was missing from her purse that was in the same classroom, but neither teacher reported the thefts, Raasch said. On Oct. 22, someone stole the teachers’ wallets from the purses in the classroom, Raasch said. One of the teachers’ debit cards was used to buy gas, and someone tried to use the debit card to buy cigarettes, beer and food at the Steel Bear Deli and Country Store and 7-Eleven store on Old Redwood Highway in Petaluma, Raasch said.
The attempted charges were declined because the bank was informed the card had been stolen, Raasch said. The teachers suspected Martin was a suspect because she had access to their classroom when she picked up her child, Raasch said. When one of the teachers confronted Marin, she denied stealing the wallets, but the wallets were soon found in front of the Cinnabar Elementary School, Raasch said. Both schools are located at 286 Skillman Lane. Surveillance videos from Lucky supermarket and Steel Bear Deli showed Martin inside the businesses with her pre-school child, Raasch said. Martin admitted the thefts when she was arrested, Raasch said. She is being held in the Sonoma County jail. The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office and defense attorney Barry McBride negotiated a plea agreement since Monday. Martin was ordered to stay away from the preschool and the businesses where she used or tried to use the debit card.
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