Tack Store Owner Pleads Not Guilty to Theft

 The owner of Judy’s Tack was arraigned today. Judy Mielenz pleaded not guilty to a felony count of grand theft.

She is accused of stealing two Antarès saddles from the HITS horse show office in February 2011 after the box was signed in by a HITS staff member. Both saddles have been recovered.

The first was found at an Iowa hunter/jumper horse show in September 2011 where Mielenz was allegedly selling it on consignment. Mielenz supplied a consignment form for the saddle to investigators. The police report states the consignment letter “is believed to be a fraud.”

The second saddle was recovered just last month. It was sold in May 2011 at the Brownland Farm Horse Show. Mielenz’s long-time customer traded a Butet saddle and paid almost $2,000 by check to Judy’s Tack Shop for the saddle.

Tommy Thompson, Assistant State Attorney says two felony charges against Mielenz have been dropped –  the dealing in stolen property charge and evidence tampering.

Mielenz will be back in court in August. She faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000 if she is found guilty of grand theft.