Jewelry employee gets 3 months’ jail for thefts

BELLINGHAM — A former jewelry store employee in Bellingham has been sentenced to 90 days in jail and ordered to repay “a couple wheelbarrows full of money” after stealing dozens of gold items from her store.

Prosecutors said Sydney Hinkley’s expenses increased when she kicked a boyfriend out of her apartment in 2011, so she started taking jewelry from the Ben Bridge store — mostly plain gold items that could be melted down.

The Bellingham Herald reported that the 22-year-old got away with it until a mid-July inventory.

Detectives found that Hinkley had pawned items matching the missing inventory at four gold-buying businesses.

She pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree theft.

In addition to jail, she’s to repay $28,500, a sum that Judge Ira Uhrig called “a couple wheelbarrows full of money.”

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