A former in-home caregiver will spend at least two years in state prison following his sentencing last week in San Luis Obispo Superior Court for stealing nearly $50,000 in coins, silverware and antiques from an elderly San Luis Obispo couple.
A week before he was to stand trial, Gallagher Daniel Persson, 35, accepted a plea deal Oct. 15, pleading no contest to a felony charge of theft of over $400 by a caretaker, a charge that carried a criminal enhancement because Persson has a prior robbery conviction.
On Thursday, Superior Court Judge Rita Federman sentenced Persson to four years in state prison. He is eligible for half-time credit, meaning he could be released in two years, Assistant District Attorney Lee Cunningham said. He faced a maximum of about eight years because of the past conviction.
According to court records, an Atascadero detective discovered small sales receipts for gold and silver that listed Persson as the seller to a secondhand dealer. After finding that he worked as a caretaker for Atascadero-based Senior Helpers of San Luis Obispo, Atascadero and San Luis Obispo police opened an investigation into possible elder abuse.
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Persson had cared for an elderly San Luis Obispo couple for more than a year, investigators found, and had received more than $47,000 by pawning pieces of gold and silver coins and antique silver serving utensils. Officers found about $15,000 in additional stolen property when searching Persson’s Los Osos home, San Luis Obispo police said.
Senior Helpers of San Luis Obispo owner Richard Snouffer said previously that Persson was fired immediately following his arrest. No state regulatory action was taken against the provider.