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Woman sentenced for van theft

Melissa Ann Stands, 39, of Willmar was sentenced Oct. 30 in Becker County District Court on a felony charge of motor vehicle theft.

According to court records, at about 4:30 a.m. on May 19 she was discovered inside a home on Bowling Avenue by the occupants, and shown the door. Before she left, however, she had secretly grabbed a set of keys and used them to steal a 2004 Dodge Caravan from the driveway.

The theft was not noticed until later, but she was arrested about half an hour later by a Detroit Lakes officer who pulled over the van when she failed to signal for a turn. Her license had been canceled as inimical to public safety.

A gross misdemeanor charge of driving after her license was canceled was dropped in a plea agreement.

District Judge Peter Irvine sentenced her to 15 months in prison, stayed five years. She must serve 90 days in jail, with credit for 36 days served, and pay $1,160 in fees and fines. She can do Sentencing to Service work in lieu of the fine.

She must get a chemical dependency evaluation and follow the treatment recommendations within 60 days of release from jail. She was placed on supervised probation for five years.