Benton Harbor woman gets jail time for Buchanan theft

Published 2:30 pm Monday, September 11, 2023

NILES — A Benton Harbor woman was sentenced to jail for stealing items from the Harding’s store in Buchanan.

Lotonia Michelle Mojet, 53, of Benton Harbor, pleaded guilty to first degree retail fraud and was sentenced to 120 days in jail with credit for two days served, 80 hours of community service and $462.80 in fines, costs and restitution.

The incident occurred July 10 in Buchanan.

Arnold noted in her remarks before the sentencing that Mojet has been on probation five times and sentenced to jail 12 times and to prison five times.

Mojet said she took full responsibility for her actions.

“I am a changed person, I am going to school to study criminal justice and I have a job,” she said. “You won’t see me again in your courtroom. I’ve submitted my life to God and I’m on the right track.”

“Why should I believe that?” Judge Smith asked. “You’re standing before me for stealing. “You say you want to be there for your family but you still keep doing things to put yourself in jeopardy of going to prison or jail.”

The judge noted that Mojet and her co-defendant both live in the Benton Harbor area and went to the store in Buchanan to steal items.

“I suspect you went there because you are known in the Benton Harbor area,” she said. “The only reason for you to be in Buchanan is because you are recognized in Benton Harbor.”

The judge warned Mojet to stop stealing or risk going back to prison.

“Your guidelines are five to 23 months, I could send you to prison today,” she said. “If you’re serious, you won’t steal anymore. If you do, you’re going to prison.”