Jessica May Steinlicht, 32, made her initial appearance before Richland County District Court Thursday, Nov. 7.
The Wahpeton woman is charged with one count of burglary, a class C felony.
Through investigations conducted by the Richland County Sheriff’s Office and Wahpeton Police Department, Steinlicht is accused of willfully entering a non-public building, which she was not licensed, invited or otherwise privileged to enter or remain, with the intent to commit theft. She allegedly did so between May 18-24, 2019.
On May 24, 2019, a Fairmount, North Dakota, man contacted the Richland County Sheriff’s Office. He reported several items were missing from his home, which he believed had been unlawfully entered.
The victim said he believed Steinlicht was involved in the unlawful entry because she allegedly was contacting him in the days leading up to May 24. According to the victim, Steinlicht was asking him for money, asking about his whereabouts and asking if she could enter his home so she could access his money.
The victim, court documents state, never gave Steinlicht permission to enter his home. He was away on business during the week of May 20, 2019. On May 24, he returned home and discovered someone had entered his home before taking several of his belongings.
Steinlicht allegedly called the victim later that day, according to court documents. She asked him to lie to law enforcement, saying she had permission to be in possession of the items missing from his home.
Wahpeton police officers made contact with Steinlicht in the Walmart parking lot, Wahpeton, on May 24. She was seated in a vehicle with a third party.
Officers later executed a search warrant of the vehicle. They found items including, but not limited to:
• a checkbook belonging to the victim
• a Ruger Mini-14 .223-caliber rifle
• multiple firearm magazines
• a box of shotgun shells
Also on May 24, Wahpeton police officers went to a residence in the city. The residence’s basement was where Steinlicht and the third party were staying, according to court documents.
A kerosene heater was seen outside the residence. It was reported as stolen from the victim’s home in Fairmount.
Officers executed a search warrant at the Wahpeton residence. In the basement, they found items including, but not limited to:
• an AR-15 rifle
• a Springfield XDS pistol
• a pistol case with the victim’s name on it
“The defendant later admitted to an investigator that she stole items from (the victim’s) home so that she could sell the items and provide money to (the third party),” court documents state.
Steinlicht also allegedly admitted she had sold some of the victim’s property at a pawn shop or pawn shops prior to her contact with law enforcement on May 24, 2019.
Judge Bradley Cruff set Steinlicht’s bail at $2,500 cash or surety. Steinlicht was also ordered to have no contact with the victim.
Richland County Assistant State’s Attorney Casey Moen is representing the state of North Dakota. According to Moen, Steinlicht indicated she would apply for court-appointed counsel.
A preliminary hearing is expected to be scheduled once Steinlicht receives an attorney.
Court records show Steinlicht received deferred impositions of sentencing for misdemeanor methamphetamine possession, paraphernalia possession and prohibited drug purchase or receipt in Burleigh County, North Dakota, on May 17, 2019. She was placed on one year’s unsupervised probation and ordered to violate no criminal laws, among other conditions.
A June 2019 arraignment for Steinlicht in Bismarck Municipal Court was cancelled, records continue. She was charged with one count of class B misdemeanor theft of property. A bench warrant was issued, but records show no activity afterward.
The maximum penalty for a class C felony is five years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both.
Steinlicht is currently confined in the Richland County Jail.