CALDWELL - An Ontario woman who stole tens of thousands of dollars from an elderly Nampa woman will only spend a handful of days in jail, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Jeannie Halsell, 37, received a ten year sentence, with three years fixed. But Judge Bradly Ford elected to suspend the sentence, giving Halsell ten years of probation instead. She was also ordered to serve 40 days in jail, 30 days on the Sheriff s Inmate Labor Detail, and 50 hours of community service.

Halsell was granted power of attorney for her grandmother after the elderly woman became medically incapacitated in January 2011. Prosecutors say she stole more than $6,500 from her grandmother's checking and savings accounts and ran up a credit card bill of almost $30,000 on the victim's card.

The thefts were discovered after another person was granted the power of attorney, and Halsell was arrested in October. Whether she will be ordered to repay all the stolen money will be determined at a al ater date, sheriff's officials said.

Prosecutor Bryan Taylor urged anyone who suspects an elderly person is being taken advantage of to contact authorities immediately.

Crimes like this that involve the exploitation of vulnerable adults are one of the fastest growing crimes in America, including right here in Idaho, Prosecutor Bryan Taylor said. So it s even more important that we all work together to make sure that those people who can t fend for themselves are taken care of. Bottom line: if you think something shady might be going on, say something and let the proper authorities work it out.

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