A Columbus woman accused of stealing thousands of items from a dozen assisted-living facilities in Delaware and Franklin counties will stand trial next month.

A Columbus woman accused of stealing thousands of items from a dozen assisted-living facilities in Delaware and Franklin counties will stand trial next month.

Susan L. Gwynne, 55, pleaded not guilty to 101 charges June 24 in Delaware County Court of Common pleas. A judge set bail for Gwynne at $150,000 and established a trial date of Aug. 16.

Gwynne faces 31 counts of burglary, all second-degree felonies; four counts of third-degree felony theft; 12 counts of fourth-degree felony theft; 27 counts of fifth-degree felony theft; 12 counts of possessing criminal tools, all fifth-degree felonies; and 15 counts of receiving stolen property, all first-degree misdemeanors, according to court records.

The case stems from a report of theft in January by a resident at the Inn at Olentangy Trail in Orange Township.

"After the initial call, the Delaware County Sheriff's Office released a picture of the suspect, which had been captured on surveillance video at the assisted-living facility," Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O'Brien said in a statement.

A tipster reportedly identified Gwynne after viewing a still image posted on social media.

After serving a search warrant March 21 at Gwynne's Columbus residence, investigators quickly realized they were not dealing with a simple theft case.

Tracy Whited, spokeswoman for the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, said investigators found more than 3,000 pieces of property Gwynne allegedly stole.

"Their jaws almost dropped when the saw the scope," she said.

Whited said at that moment, "the game plan changed" for the sheriff's office as investigators shifted their focus to identifying other potential victims.

A Delaware County grand jury issued the 101-count indictment against Gwynne on June 15. Gwynne turned herself in to authorities the next day.

The charges reflected crimes allegedly committed against 31 victims, all of whom resided in central Ohio assisted-living facilities.

Whited said the extended period of time between the sheriff's office identifying Gwynne as a suspect and her arrest allowed investigators to "build the strongest case and ensure justice is served for every victim involved."

Whited said several factors contributed to the length of the investigation.

She said the case involved more than 3,000 pieces of allegedly stolen property -- mostly jewelry -- that investigators had to log. She said the sheriff's office logged 7,834 pieces of evidence from all of its cases in 2015.

The case also included crime scenes in five different law-enforcement jurisdictions in two counties. Whited said the Delaware County Sheriff's Office remained the lead agency for the investigation, even though the "lion's share" of incidents occurred in Franklin County.

Whited said detective Christina Burke deserves special recognition for her tenacity in investigating the case.

Whited said a potential 32nd victim contacted authorities shortly after Gwynne's indictment.

According to the prosecutor's office, Gwynne allegedly stole property from residents of Abbington of Arlington, Abbington of Powell, Brookdale Senior Living, Brookdale Trillium Crossing, Danbury at Parkside, Danbury of Columbus, Friendship Village of Columbus, Friendship Village of Dublin, Forum at Knightsbridge, the Inn at Olentangy Trail, National Church Residences, Sunrise of Dublin and Village at Westerville.

tgallick@thisweeknews.com

@TWGallick